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Series in Quantum Electronics
edited by
Henry Baltes, Peter Günter, Ursula Keller,
Fritz K. Kneubühl †, Walter Lukosz,
Hans Melchior, Markus W. Sigrist

Vol. 42

Simon Christian Zeller
Picosecond Solid-State Lasers with

GHz Repetition Rates.
1st edition 2007. XXIV, 130 pages; € 64,00. ISBN 3-86628-156-0


Pulsed laser sources with repetition rates of several gigahertz are required for different applications, of which telecommunication through optical fibers is the most common and driving. Other applications like electro-optical sampling, analog-to-digital conversion, clock distribution and photonic switching, to name a few, can profit from such sources. Different approaches are currently investigated for light sources delivering pulse trains at high repetition rates, e.g. active or hybrid mode-locked semiconductor lasers or actively harmonically mode-locked fiber lasers. New passive mode-locked Er:Yb:glass lasers are now serious competitors and have also become commercially available.

This thesis investigates multi-GHz passively mode-locked solid-state lasers emitting at the telecom wavelengths around 1.3 µm and 1.5 µm. We successfully mode-locked Er:Yb:glass lasers with repetition rates up to 77 GHz, which is the highest repetition rate demonstrated so far for a solid-state laser at 1.5 µm. Relevant requirements for telecommunication applications like wavelength-locking, spectral flattening and spectral broadening were demonstrated at a repetition rate of 50 GHz.

We investigate the noise on pulse trains of passively mode locked lasers. Besides a thorough theoretical analysis of the noise properties of pulsed laser sources, we present a new method for accurate timing jitter measurements based on the indirect phase comparison of two mode-locked lasers which can be either free running or synchronized to an external reference clock. With the new measurement method we demonstrate nearly quantum-noise limited timing jitter performance of two 10-GHz Er:Yb:glass lasers. The free-running timing jitter was 190 fs (100 Hz–1.5 MHz). Synchronizing to an external clock suppressed the long-term drifts and reduced the relative timing jitter to 26 fs (6 Hz–1.5 MHz).

About the author:

Simon Zeller received his diploma degree in physics from the ETH Zurich in 2002. He joined the Institute of Quantum Electronics at ETH Zurich in the same year. His research focused on pulsed lasers operating at multi-gigahertz pulse repetition rates, especially the nonlinear optical properties of semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors for passively mode-locked solid-state lasers, as well as dynamic behaviour and stability, timing jitter and intensity noise.


Keywords: Mode-locked Lasers, Solid-State Lasers, Er:Yb:glass Lasers, Nd:YVO4 Lasers, Semiconductor Saturable Absorber Mirror (SESAM), Timing Jitter, Quantum Noise

Series in Quantum Electronics

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