Radio frequency transmitter based on a laser frequency comb. Academic Article uri icon


  • Since the days of Hertz, radio transmitters have evolved from rudimentary circuits emitting around 50 MHz to modern ubiquitous Wi-Fi devices operating at gigahertz radio bands. As wireless data traffic continues to increase, there is a need for new communication technologies capable of high-frequency operation for high-speed data transfer. Here, we give a proof of concept of a compact radio frequency transmitter based on a semiconductor laser frequency comb. In this laser, the beating among the coherent modes oscillating inside the cavity generates a radio frequency current, which couples to the electrodes of the device. We show that redesigning the top contact of the laser allows one to exploit the internal oscillatory current to drive a dipole antenna, which radiates into free space. In addition, direct modulation of the laser current permits encoding a signal in the radiated radio frequency carrier. Working in the opposite direction, the antenna can receive an external radio frequency signal, couple it to the active region, and injection lock the laser. These results pave the way for applications and functionality in optical frequency combs, such as wireless radio communication and wireless synchronization to a reference source.

altmetric score

  • 138.66

author list (cited authors)

  • Piccardo, M., Tamagnone, M., Schwarz, B., Chevalier, P., Rubin, N. A., Wang, Y., ... Capasso, F.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Piccardo, Marco||Tamagnone, Michele||Schwarz, Benedikt||Chevalier, Paul||Rubin, Noah A||Wang, Yongrui||Wang, Christine A||Connors, Michael K||McNulty, Daniel||Belyanin, Alexey||Capasso, Federico

publication date

  • May 2019