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Fiber-ring-based optical frequency comb generators are analyzed to understand their behavior and limitations. A numerical frequency-domain model is described for studying dispersion and other phase mismatch causing effects in the fiber ring cavity, as well as for predicting the spectral and temporal evolutions of the comb in time. The results from this analysis are verified with experimental measurements. A flat optical comb, with a terahertz span within a 6-dB power envelope and containing 100 comb lines, with a suppressed central comb line, is demonstrated. The comb shows an excellent coherence dependent on the phase noise from the radio frequency synthesizer that drives the comb generator. Improvement in the error correction loop also enables the comb spacing to be set at precise 12.5-MHz intervals without having to adjust the system. Fast frequency switching of the comb line spacing is demonstrated for the first time. The comb line spacing can be switched to any operation frequency with a resolution of 12.5 MHz between 6 and 12.5 GHz, as limited only by the microwave circuit used. The switching time is less than 1 s, and the spectral profile of the comb is maintained.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2007