Optical frequency combs (OFCs) have attracted attention as optical frequency rulers due to their tooth-like discrete spectra together with their inherent mode-locking nature and phase-locking control to a frequency standard. Based on this concept, their applications until now have been demonstrated in the fields of optical frequency metrology. However, if the utility of OFCs can be further expanded beyond their application by exploiting new aspects of OFCs, this will lead to new developments in optical metrology and instrumentation. Here, we report a fiber sensing application of OFCs based on a coherent link between the optical and radio frequencies, enabling high-precision refractive index measurement based on frequency measurement in radio-frequency (RF) region. Our technique encodes a refractive index change of a liquid sample into a repetition frequency of OFC by a combination of an intracavity multi-mode-interference fiber sensor and wavelength dispersion of a cavity fiber. Then, the change in refractive index is read out by measuring the repetition frequency in RF region based on a frequency standard. Use of an OFC as a photonic RF converter will lead to the development of new applications in high-precision fiber sensing with the help of functional fiber sensors and precise RF measurement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics