Abstract

We demonstrate a carrier-envelope offset-free frequency comb in the mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) based on a passively mode-locked vertical external cavity surface emitting laser (VECSEL) operating at a 1.6 GHz repetition rate. The 290 mW output spanning 3.0–3.5 μm is generated through difference frequency generation (DFG) in periodically poled lithium niobate. The VECSEL pulse train is centered at 1030 nm and amplified up to 11 W in a Yb fiber amplifier system. The output is split to generate a second pulse train at 1560 nm through nonlinear broadening in a Si3N4 waveguide followed by amplification in an Er gain fiber. DFG between the 1030 and 1560 nm pulse trains results in a coherent and offset-free MWIR frequency comb, verified with optical heterodyne beat note measurements. Active stabilization of the VECSEL repetition rate provides a fully stabilized high repetition rate frequency comb in the MWIR, uniquely suited for applications in molecular spectroscopy.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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