New on-chip laser frequency comb is 100 times more efficient than previous versions

On-chip laser frequency combs—lasers that emit multiple frequencies or colors of light simultaneously separated like the tooth on a comb—are a promising technology for a range of applications including environmental monitoring, optical computing, astronomy, and metrology. However, on-chip frequency combs are still limited by one serious problem—they are not always efficient. There are several ways to mitigate the efficiency problem, but they all suffer from trade-offs. For example, combs can either have high efficiency or broad bandwidth but not both. The inability to design an on-chip laser frequency comb that is both efficient and broad has stymied researchers for years and hindered the widespread commercialization of these devices.

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