Leveraging the periodic interference condition in electro-optic modulators for picosecond pulse generation


Ultra-short optical pulses in the femtosecond and picosecond regime are typically generated using mode-locked lasers. However, in mode-locking, the pulse repetition rate is fundamentally linked to the cavity length of the laser, making it difficult to synchronize these laser pulses to other light sources. Here, we apply a pulse-on-demand approach to picosecond pulse generation with an electro-optic intensity modulator (EOM). The high, 40 GHz bandwidth of the EOM enables low picosecond pulses, however it shifts the problem of pulse generation to the electronic pulses, requiring high bandwidth electronics. In this study, we present an electro-optic operation, leveraging the periodic interference condition of intensity EOMs by operating it with rising edges at twice its Vπ voltage. Utilizing this method, pulse durations as short as 10.9 ps were achieved by employing a 35 ps edge from an arbitrary waveform generator. The pulses were measured directly on a high-speed oscilloscope as well as indirectly through the spectral broadening of the generated optical pulses. We employ this approach to show arbitrary pulse length generation by applying step functions with only one Vπ voltage, thus permitting direct pulse-on-demand generation of pulses with arbitrary pulse length, shape and repetition rate for applications in spectroscopy, sensing and nonlinear imaging
Original languageEnglish
JournalOpt. Continuum
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)2298-2307
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2023

Cite this