Researchers at the University of Rochester have developed a new tool that could advance wireless communication, imaging, atomic clocks, and other technologies. The tool is a high-speed tunable microcomb, which is a photonic device that produces laser lines at specific frequencies. This device, made from lithium niobate, can manipulate the bandwidth and frequency modulation rates faster than existing microcombs. It is the first microcomb device capable of producing a highly tunable microwave source, which is important for applications such as frequency metrology, radar, sensing, and communication. The researchers believe that this device opens up new possibilities for controlling soliton comb lines and could have various uses in different fields. The project was a collaboration between faculty and students at the University of Rochester and the California Institute of Technology. This research was supported by several organizations, including the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the National Science Foundation.

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