Timing & frequency metrology

Image: Fiber Laser-based Frequency Comb

The timing and frequency metrology team works towards the implementation of Timing Distribution Systems (TDS), which are large laser-microwave networks connected through fiber links. These systems act as the backbone of large-scale systems e.g. photon science facilities like accelerators, free-electron lasers and intense laser beamlines. These types of applications require highly-precise levels of synchronization between optical and microwave sources across several kilometer distances.

Engineering a stable, ultra low noise, ultra fast fiber laser, and studying the limitations of timing distribution in fiber links is one major mission of our group. We also work on the characterization and optimization of novel metrological timing detectors like the balanced optical cross-correlator (BOC) and the balanced optical-microwave phase detector (BOMPD) pushing the limits of timing detection and synchronization, achieving alongside the synthesis of microwave sources with sub-femtosecond timing jitter stability.

Our team has already achieved the timing stabilization of 4.7 km long fiber links and optical-optical and optical-microwave synchronization achieving timing stability into the attosecond scale.

We collaborate with the Integrated optics team in the design and implementation of fiber lasers and nonlinear optics for timing detectors, as well as a tight collaboration with Cycle GmbH on the overall design of the TDS, benefiting from their expertise into our experimental setups.

Relevant References:
[1] M. Xin et al, “Attosecond precision multi-kilometer laser-microwave network,” Light: Science & Applications 6, e16187; DOI: 10.1038/lsa.2016.187 (2017).
[2] K. Şafak et al, “Jitter analysis of timing-distribution and remote-laser synchronization systems,” Opt. Express 24, 21752 (2016).
[3] M. Xin et al, “Breaking the Femtosecond Barrier in Multi-Kilometer Timing Synchronization Systems,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 23, 8800212 (2017).
[4] K. Şafak et al, "Large-Scale Turnkey Timing Distribution System for Attosecond Photon Science Facilities," in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, OSA Technical Digest (online) (Optical Society of America, 2017), paper JTu4L.3.