Gas-filled Hollow Optical Fibers for Robust Frequency References and Novel Lasers
The revolutionary technology of hollow-core photonic crystal fibers has made nonlinear optics in gasses possible over a long interaction length in a small volume. This has led to the development of a new class of optically-pumped gas-filled fiber lasers, and portable, robust optical frequency references. Portable optical frequency references are very useful for a wide variety of applications, from telecommunications to remote detection of harmful gasses. While microwave reference frequency information is available from the global positioning system (GPS), and can be converted to the optical with an optical frequency comb, higher short-term stability and GPS-independent references are desired. We have demonstrated these capabilities with an acetylene-filled hollow core fiber, characterized with optical frequency combs, and used to directly stabilize those combs. Furthermore, we have demonstrated for the first time that gasses contained in these hollow fibers can be made to lase, leading to a new class of hollow-core optical fiber gas laser (HOFGLAS) with potential for high efficiency and scaling to high optical powers, or to operating with very low thresholds.