Industrial Electronics

World’s first optical oscilloscope

14 December 2021

Documenting the electric field of light has been impeded by the high speeds at which light waves oscillate. Available tools for measuring light fields resolve only an average signal associated with a light pulse and not the peaks and valleys within that pulse. Such measurements can now be recorded with an optical oscilloscope engineered at the University of Central Florida.

The system was demonstrated to provide real-time measurement of the electric fields of individual laser pulses in the laboratory. The researchers successfully performed single-shot measurements of laser electric Schematic of the experimental setup with beam splitter (BS), mid-infrared (Mid-IR) and concave cylindrical mirror (CCM) components. Source: Michael Chini et al./University of Central FloridaSchematic of the experimental setup with beam splitter (BS), mid-infrared (Mid-IR) and concave cylindrical mirror (CCM) components. Source: Michael Chini et al./University of Central Florida field waveforms, confirming that strong-field nonlinear excitation of photocurrents in a silicon-based image sensor chip can provide the sub-cycle optical gate necessary to characterize carrier-envelope phase-stable optical waveforms in the mid-infrared. By mapping the temporal delay between an intense excitation and weak perturbing pulse onto a transverse spatial coordinate of the image sensor, the technique was observed to allow single-shot measurement of few-cycle waveforms.

The ability to measure optical waveforms may be key to realizing higher speeds in electronics and telecommunications.

According to associate professor Michael Chini, “Fiber optic communications have taken advantage of light to make things faster, but we are still functionally limited by the speed of the oscilloscope. Our optical oscilloscope may be able to increase that speed by a factor of about 10,000.”

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com


Powered by CR4, the Engineering Community

Discussion – 0 comments

By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and Terms of Use.
Engineering Newsletter Signup
Get the Engineering360
Stay up to date on:
Features the top stories, latest news, charts, insights and more on the end-to-end electronics value chain.
Advertisement
Weekly Newsletter
Get news, research, and analysis
on the Electronics industry in your
inbox every week - for FREE
Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter
Advertisement
Find Free Electronics Datasheets
Advertisement