Direct Kerr frequency comb atomic spectroscopy and stabilization

Liron Stern*, Jordan R. Stone, Songbai Kang, Daniel C. Cole, Myoung Gyun Suh, Connor Fredrick, Zachary Newman, Kerry Vahala, John Kitching, Scott A. Diddams, Scott B. Papp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Microresonator-based soliton frequency combs, microcombs, have recently emerged to offer low-noise, photonicchip sources for applications, spanning from timekeeping to optical-frequency synthesis and ranging. Broad optical bandwidth, brightness, coherence, and frequency stability have made frequency combs important to directly probe atoms and molecules, especially in trace gas detection, multiphoton light-atom interactions, and spectroscopy in the extreme ultraviolet. Here, we explore direct microcomb atomic spectroscopy, using a cascaded, two-photon 1529-nm atomic transition in a rubidium micromachined cell. Fine and simultaneous repetition rate and carrier-envelope offset frequency control of the soliton enables direct sub-Doppler and hyperfine spectroscopy. Moreover, the entire set of microcomb modes are stabilized to this atomic transition, yielding absolute optical-frequency fluctuations at the kilohertz level over a few seconds and <1-MHz day-to-day accuracy. Our work demonstrates direct atomic spectroscopy with Kerr microcombs and provides an atomic-stabilized microcomb laser source, operating across the telecom band for sensing, dimensional metrology, and communication.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number: eaax6230
JournalScience advances
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

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