The advent of precise microwave frequency synthesis in the 1940’s enabled a disruptive revolution in the capabilities enabled by microwave technology, including wireless and wireline communications, RADAR, electronic warfare, and atomic sensors and timing technology. It is envisioned that the DODOS program will advance a similar transformative revolution based on ubiquitous optical frequency synthesis technology. Laboratory-scale optical frequency synthesis was successfully realized in 1999 with the invention of self-referenced optical frequency combs based on femto-second pulse-length mode-locked laser sources. This has led to optical synthesizers with frequency accuracy better than 10e-19 and demonstration of optical clocks with stability floor below 2x10e-18. However, such systems are large, costly, and thereby confined to laboratory use. Recent development of Kerr combs generated in microresonators, as well as chip-scale mode-locked lasers, enable the development of a microscale self-referenced optical frequency comb with performance rivaling that of laboratory-scale systems. Combined with recent progress in on-chip photonic waveguides and photonic crystals, widely-tunable laser sources, and optical modulators, along with advances in on-chip optical-CMOS heterogeneous integration, it is now possible to develop a robust and deployable single-chip integrated optical frequency synthesizer. It is expected that the DODOS program will enable low-cost and high performance optical frequency control with the ubiquity of microwave synthesis.
Project end date: 12/19/18