Optical Frequency Synthesis and Control: from Communication to Sensing

High-resolution highly tunable optical frequency synthesis, where a stable optical signal is generated by phase locking a tunable laser to a stable optical frequency comb, is essential for many applications from imaging and sensing to communication. In this talk, an optical frequency synthesizer is presented which is capable of fine tuning of a semiconductor laser emitting at 200THz over a 5THz range. Other examples of optical frequency control, such as integrated Pound-Drever-Hall laser frequency stabilization systems, laser phase/frequency noise reduction systems, and direct frequency locking of lasers to microwave oscillators are also presented. The effect of laser frequency stability on a few sensing and detection applications such as lidar will be discussed.