June 1, 2018

EFTF 2018 Young Scientist Award

CSEM scientist Dr. Tobias Herr has been honored with the European Frequency and Time Forum (EFTF) Young Scientist Award at the 2018 event held in Turin, Italy. This prize recognizes a personal contribution that demonstrates a high degree of initiative and creativity, and leads to already established or foreseeable outstanding advances in the field of time and frequency metrology. The award is reserved for scientists under the age of 40.

Tobias Herr

Microresonator frequency combs comprise thousands of optical lines that are equally spaced by an ultra-high repetition rate frequency of 10-100 GHz. The generation of an optical frequency comb is achieved by laser-pumping a high-Q Kerr non-linear resonator; that is, by creating a vast series of equidistant comb lines by means of nonlinear parametric conversion. Several microresonator platforms exist, such as whispering-gallery mode resonators made of crystalline materials, photonics-integrated chips and recently demonstrated fiber-based Fabry-Pérot resonators. The tremendous potential of such compact microresonator-based frequency combs has been widely recognized.

Among the most promising applications of microresonator-based comb technology are:

  • Optical channel-generation for broadband; coherent optical telecommunications
  • Generation of ultra-low-noise microwave signals
  • Rapid, broadband optical spectroscopy, where the resolvable comb lines allow for broadband and real-time detection of trace-gas sensing, astronomical spectrometer calibration or dual-frequency comb spectroscopy with ultra-high acquisition rates (all without moving parts)
  • Optical clockwork for frequency metrology and for next-generation atomic clocks

Other applications such as rapid distance measurements, ultra-fast analog-to-digital conversion and quantum light sources are also actively being pursued.