Abstract

We demonstrate a simple all-fiber photonic phase detector that can measure the phase (timing) difference between an optical pulse train and a microwave signal with subfemtosecond resolution and 60  dB-level amplitude-to-phase conversion coefficient. It is based on passive phase biasing of a Sagnac loop by the intrinsic phase shift of a symmetric 3×3 fiber coupler. By eliminating the necessity of magneto-optic components or complex radio frequency (RF) electronics for phase biasing of the Sagnac loop, this phase detector has potential to be implemented as an integrated photonic device as well. When using this device for synchronization between a 250 MHz mode-locked Er-fiber laser and an 8 GHz microwave oscillator, the minimum residual phase noise floor reaches <154  dBc/Hz (at 8 GHz carrier) with integrated root mean square (rms) timing jitter of 0.97 fs [1 Hz–1 MHz]. The long-term rms timing drift and frequency instability are 0.92 fs (over 5000 s) and 4×1019 (at 10,000 s averaging time), respectively.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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