Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Scott Diddams

Second Advisor

Jun Ye

Third Advisor

Steven Cundiff


Pulse shaping of femtosecond laser pulses has shown great utility across a variety of scientific fields. In the past 5 years, the ability to manipulate the individual frequency components of the light field has enabled new applications such as optical and microwave arbitrary waveform generation. This thesis details the development of this line-by-line frequency control of a phase controlled and stabilized frequency comb, which allows for absolute control of the phase and frequency of the laser pulse and enables new applications such as secure communications. Also developed is the extension of the bandwidth of line-by-line control to 640 comb modes spanning more than 13 THz with a grism (grating + prism) based pulse shaper that enables broadband shaping and short pulses. The phase and amplitude of the comb modes manipulated by the shaper are measured using spectral interferometry and frequency-resolved optical gating, allowing the generation of transform-limited pulses and arbitrary waveforms at the end of a 300 m fiber. These arbitrary waveforms are verified by background-free autocorrelation and show good agreement with the predicted waveforms. In addition, the phase noise added by the pulse shaper and fiber transmission to a remote location is measured and removed, allowing phase-stable encoding of information on the optical phase of individual frequency comb modes. Readout of this phase-encoded information is demonstrated with spectral interferometry and with dual-comb spectroscopy. The dual-comb spectroscopy shows the transfer of optical phase information to a remote location. Readout of this optical phase information can only be accomplished when both frequency combs are self-referenced and phase locked to a high-stability optical frequency reference, demonstrating a possible route to secure communications.

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