Abstract

We review the most recent progress in ultralow-noise mode-locked fiber lasers and fiber-based frequency-comb sources. With the rapid progress in theory, measurement, and control of noise in passively mode-locked fiber lasers, we have reached the point where the residual carrier–envelope-offset phase jitter (when stabilized) and pulse timing jitter performance of such laser sources can be fully optimized to the unprecedented levels of attoseconds regime. In this paper, first, major principles in building such low-noise passively mode-locked fiber lasers are reviewed. We then define noise in mode-locked fiber lasers and present the basic theoretical and numerical framework for analyzing the noise in mode-locked fiber lasers. More detailed discussions on theory, measurement methods, state-of-the-art performances, and stabilization methods of intensity noise, timing jitter, and comb-line frequency noise follow. Finally, we overview today’s most representative applications of such ultralow-noise mode-locked fiber lasers and frequency-comb sources. As an already powerful tool for various high-precision applications, ultralow-noise mode-locked fiber lasers will keep finding more exciting applications in optical science and photonic technology in the coming years.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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