IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society


April 11, 2013
6:30 PM

MIT Lincoln Laboratory

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Femtosecond Fiber Lasers – From Fundamental Mode-locking Principles to Compact High-repetition Rate Sources

Prof. Michelle Sander, Boston University, Boston, MA

Co-sponsored by the IEEE GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade)


Prof. Michelle Sander, Boston University, Boston, MA

Abstract:  Femtosecond lasers and the development of frequency combs have revolutionized multiple fields like metrology, spectroscopy, medical diagnostics and optical communications.  However, to enable wider adoption of the technology and new applications like optical sampling, optical arbitrary waveform generation or the calibration of astronomical spectrographs, multi-GHz repetition rate femtosecond devices with robust performance metrics, low cost and a compact footprint are highly desirable.

In this talk, various approaches to develop GHz mode-locked laser systems at telecommunication wavelengths will be presented.  First, the fundamentals of mode-locking will be reviewed and an historic overview over different fiber laser configurations will be given.  Then, design aspects for constructing a compact 1 GHz fiber laser will be described.  In order to scale the repetition rate into the multi-GHz regime, coherent pulse interleaving in novel thermally tunable waveguide interleavers will be demonstrated at 10 GHz.

Recommended reading before the seminar: "Scaling of passively mode-locked soliton erbium waveguide lasers based on slow saturable absorbers", D. Pudo et al., Optics Express, 16, 23 (2008).  Free access here:


Biography:  Dr. Michelle Sander is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boston University.  Her research focuses on the development of compact high-repetition rate femtosecond fiber lasers and integrated waveguide lasers.  Dr. Sander received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Optics and Quantum Electronics Group with Prof. Erich Ippen and Prof. Franz Kaertner at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012.  Previously, she received a Diploma degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, and a Master of Science degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology.


Location:  MIT Lincoln Laboratory