Background

Modern real-time oscilloscope and high-speed digitizer technology is limited in its performance by relying on electronics for its processing. Optical technology permits much higher performance which permits the measurement of shorter events. There exists a need for an oscilloscope which can measure ultrafast waveforms with a temporal resolution from about 1 ps down to below 100 fs of impulse response width in an expedient and efficient manner.

Description

The invention relates to a measurement method and system for capturing both the amplitude and phase temporal profile of a transient waveform or a selected number of consecutive waveforms having bandwidths of up to about 10 THz in a single shot or in a high repetition rate mode. The invention consists of an optical preprocessor which can then output a time-scaled replica of the input signal to a conventional oscilloscope for display. An additional technical description is available.

Advantages

This technology has two great advantages over current oscilloscopes:

  • The Optical Waveform Recorder/Preprocessor is faster, operating in real-time. Each measurement is fundamentally a single-shot measurement, but it can operate at high repetition rates if desired. 
  • It operates in real-time. Each measurement is fundamentally a single-shot measurement, but it can operate at high repetition rates if desired.
  • The process does NOT require repetitive sampling of a repetitive waveform.
  • The invention can use a commercially available oscilloscope, or other final recording instrument for the “backend” of the system to display the waveform.
Potential Applications

This invention can result in a preprocessor that extends the range of existing commercial oscilloscopes, high-speed analog-to-digital converters, streak-cameras, and/or many other final recording instruments.

Development Status

LLNL researchers have a prototype device which demonstrates the technology. U.S. Patent 7,738,111 has issued for this technology.

Reference Number
18008
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