Homogeneously broadened delay-line oscillators such as lasers or optoelectronic oscillators (OEOs) can potentially oscillate in a large number of cavity modes that are supported by their amplifier bandwidth. In a continuous wave operating mode, the oscillating mode is selected between one or few cavity modes that experience the highest small-signal gain. In this manuscript, we show that the oscillation mode of a homogeneously broadened oscillator can be selected from a large number of modes in a frequency region that can be broader than the full width at half maximum of the effective cavity filter. The mode is selected by a shorttime injection of an external signal into the oscillator. After the external signal is turned off, the oscillation is maintained in the selected mode even if this mode has a significantly lower small-signal gain than that of other cavity modes. The stability of the oscillation is obtained due to nonlinear saturation effect in the oscillator amplifier. We demonstrate, experimentally and theoretically, mode selection in a long cavity OEO. We could select any desired mode between 400 cavity modes while maintaining ultra-low phase noise in the selected mode and in the nonoscillating modes. No mode-hopping was observed during our maximum measurement duration of about 24 hours.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics