"Subharmonic Fourier domain mode locking"Ch. Eigenwillig, W. Wieser, B. Biedermann, R. Huber
Optics Letters 34, 725-727 (2009)
We demonstrate a subharmonically Fourier domain mode-locked wavelength-swept laser source with a substantially reduced cavity fiber length. In contrast to a standard Fourier domain mode-locked configuration, light is recirculated repetitively in the delay line with the optical bandpass filter used as switch. The laser has a fundamental optical round trip frequency of 285 kHz and can be operated at integer fractions thereof (subharmonics). Sweep ranges up to 95 nm full width centred at 1317 nm are achieved at the 1/5th subharmonic. A maximum sensitivity of 116 dB and an axial resolution of 12 m in air are measured at an average sweep power of 12 mW. A sensitivity roll-off of 11 dB over 4 mmand 25 dB over 10 mm is observed and optical coherence tomography imaging is demonstrated. Besides the dvantage of a reduced fiber length, subharmonic Fourier domain mode locking (shFDML) enables simple scaling of the sweep speed by extracting light from the delay part of the resonator. A sweep rate of 570 kHz is achieved. Characteristic features of shFDML operation, such as power leakage during fly-back and cw breakthrough, are investigated.
BMO authors (in alphabetic order):
Optical Coherent Ranging and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT): Imaging and profilometry with rapidly frequency swept laser sources
Fourier Domain Mode Locking (FDML): Spectral mode locking in optics and applications