Article | Published:

Temporal solitons in optical microresonators

Nature Photonics volume 8, pages 145152 (2014) | Download Citation

Abstract

Temporal dissipative solitons in a continuous-wave laser-driven nonlinear optical microresonator were observed. The solitons were generated spontaneously when the laser frequency was tuned through the effective zero detuning point of a high-Q resonance, which led to an effective red-detuned pumping. Transition to soliton states were characterized by discontinuous steps in the resonator transmission. The solitons were stable in the long term and their number could be controlled via pump-laser detuning. These observations are in agreement with numerical simulations and soliton theory. Operating in the single-soliton regime allows the continuous output coupling of a femtosecond pulse train directly from the microresonator. This approach enables ultrashort pulse syntheses in spectral regimes in which broadband laser-gain media and saturable absorbers are not available. In the frequency domain the single-soliton states correspond to low-noise optical frequency combs with smooth spectral envelopes, critical to applications in broadband spectroscopy, telecommunications, astronomy and low noise microwave generation.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    & Dissipative Solitons: From Optics to Biology and Medicine (Springer, 2008).

  2. 2.

    & Dissipative solitons for mode-locked lasers. Nature Photon. 6, 84–92 (2012).

  3. 3.

    Suppression of interactions in a phase-locked soliton optical memory. Opt. Lett. 18, 601–603 (1993).

  4. 4.

    et al. Temporal cavity solitons in one-dimensional Kerr media as bits in an all-optical buffer. Nature Photon. 4, 471–476 (2010).

  5. 5.

    & Spatial dissipative structures in passive optical systems. Phys. Rev. Lett. 21, 2209–2211 (1987).

  6. 6.

    & Low-dimensional chaos in a driven damped nonlinear Schrödinger equation. Physica D 21, 381–393 (1986).

  7. 7.

    & Self-trapping of optical beams: spatial solitons. Phys. Today 51, August, 42–48 (1998).

  8. 8.

    , & Cavity solitons as pixels in semiconductor microcavities. Nature 419, 699–702 (2002).

  9. 9.

    & Cavity and feedback solitons. Opt. Photon. News 13, 54–58 (2002).

  10. 10.

    et al. Mode-locked Kerr frequency combs. Opt. Lett. 36, 2845–2847 (2011).

  11. 11.

    Optical microcavities. Nature 424, 839–846 (2003).

  12. 12.

    , & Quality-factor and nonlinear properties of optical whispering-gallery modes. Phys. Lett. A 137, 393–397 (1989).

  13. 13.

    et al. Optical frequency comb generation from a monolithic microresonator. Nature 450, 1214–1217 (2007).

  14. 14.

    et al. Tunable optical frequency comb with a crystalline whispering gallery mode resonator. Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 93902 (2008).

  15. 15.

    et al. CMOS-compatible multiple-wavelength oscillator for on-chip optical interconnects. Nature Photon. 4, 37–40 (2010).

  16. 16.

    et al. CMOS-compatible integrated optical hyper-parametric oscillator. Nature Photon. 4, 41–45 (2010).

  17. 17.

    , & Microresonator-based optical frequency combs. Science 332, 555 (2011).

  18. 18.

    , & Mechanical control of a microrod-resonator optical frequency comb. Phys. Rev. X 3, 031003 (2013).

  19. 19.

    , , & Low-pump-power, low-phase-noise, and microwave to millimeter-wave repetition rate operation in microcombs. Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 233901 (2012).

  20. 20.

    , , , & Full stabilization of a microresonator-based optical frequency comb. Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 53903 (2008).

  21. 21.

    , & Hybrid electro-optically modulated microcombs. Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 263901 (2012).

  22. 22.

    et al. Universal formation dynamics and noise of Kerr-frequency combs in microresonators. Nature Photon. 6, 480–487 (2012).

  23. 23.

    et al. Spectral line-by-line pulse shaping of on-chip microresonator frequency combs. Nature Photon. 5, 770–776 (2011).

  24. 24.

    & Spectral and temporal characterization of a fused-quartz-microresonator optical frequency comb. Phys. Rev. A 84, 53833 (2011).

  25. 25.

    et al. Octave spanning tunable frequency comb from a microresonator. Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 063901 (2011).

  26. 26.

    et al. Modelocking and femtosecond pulse generation in chip-based frequency combs. Opt. Express 21, 1335–1343 (2013).

  27. 27.

    et al. Demonstration of a stable ultrafast laser based on a nonlinear microcavity. Nature Commun. 3, 765 (2012).

  28. 28.

    & Thermal nonlinear effects in optical whispering gallery microresonators. Laser Phys. 2, 1004–1009 (1992).

  29. 29.

    , & Dynamical thermal behavior and thermal selfstability of microcavities. Opt. Express 12, 4742–4750 (2004).

  30. 30.

    et al. Ultra high Q crystalline microcavities. Opt. Commun. 265, 33–38 (2006).

  31. 31.

    et al. Generation of near-infrared frequency combs from a MgF2 whispering gallery mode resonator. Opt. Lett. 36, 2290–2292 (2011).

  32. 32.

    , & Frequency comb from a microresonator with engineered spectrum. Opt. Express 20, 6604–6609 (2012).

  33. 33.

    et al. Mid-infrared optical frequency combs at 2.5 µm based on crystalline microresonators. Nature Commun. 4, 1345 (2013).

  34. 34.

    , , , & Frequency comb assisted diode laser spectroscopy for measurement of microcavity dispersion. Nature Photon. 3, 529–533 (2009).

  35. 35.

    et al. Kerr combs with selectable central frequency. Nature Photon. 5, 293–296 (2011).

  36. 36.

    & Existence and stability chart for the ac-driven, damped nonlinear Schrödinger solitons. Phys. Rev. E 54, 5707–5725 (1996).

  37. 37.

    , & Kerr-nonlinearity optical parametric oscillation in an ultrahigh-Q toroid microcavity. Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 83904 (2004).

  38. 38.

    , , , & Optical hyperparametric oscillations in a whispering-gallery-mode resonator: threshold and phase diffusion. Phys. Rev. A 71, 33804 (2005).

  39. 39.

    , & Multistability and soliton modes in nonlinear microwave resonators. Appl. Phys. Lett. 44, 1105–1107 (1984).

  40. 40.

    & Modal expansion approach to optical-frequency-comb generation with monolithic whispering-gallery-mode resonators. Phys. Rev. A 82, 33801 (2010).

  41. 41.

    , & On excitation of breather solitons in an optical microresonator. Opt. Lett. 37, 4856–4858 (2012).

  42. 42.

    et al. High-speed optical sampling using a silicon-chip temporal magnifier. Opt. Express 17, 4324–4329 (2009).

  43. 43.

    et al. Dispersion engineering of thick high-Q silicon nitride ring-resonators via atomic layer deposition. Opt. Express 20, 770–776 (2012).

  44. 44.

    et al. Octave-spanning frequency comb generation in a silicon nitride chip. Opt. Lett. 36, 3398–3400 (2011).

  45. 45.

    , , & Modeling of octave-spanning Kerr frequency combs using a generalized mean-field Lugiato–Lefever model. Opt. Lett. 38, 37–39 (2013).

  46. 46.

    & Universal scaling laws of Kerr frequency combs. Opt. Lett. 38, 1790–1792 (2013).

  47. 47.

    & Spatiotemporal Lugiato–Lefever formalism for Kerr-comb generation in whispering-gallery-mode resonators. Phys. Rev. A 87, 053852 (2013).

  48. 48.

    & Colloquium: femtosecond optical frequency combs. Rev. Modern Phys. 75, 325–342 (2003).

  49. 49.

    , , & Ultraweak long-range interactions of solitons observed over astronomical distances. Nature Photon. 7, 657–663 (2013).

  50. 50.

    Principal components generalized projections: a review. J. Optic. Soc. Am. B 25, A120–A132 (2008).

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors thank R. Salem and A. Gaeta for providing the PicoLuz LLC ultrafast temporal magnifier and advice when evaluating the data. The authors acknowledge valuable advice by K. Hartinger on dispersion compensation as well as helpful discussion with S. Coen and M. Erkintalo. This work was supported by the DARPA program QuASAR, the Swiss National Science Foundation. V.B. acknowledges support by an ESA PhD fellowship. J.D.J. acknowledges support by Marie Curie IIF. M.L.G. acknowledges support from RFBR grant 13-02-00271 and partial support by State Contract 07.514.12.4032. The research that led to these results received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement No. 263500.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

    • T. Herr
    • , V. Brasch
    • , J. D. Jost
    • , C. Y. Wang
    •  & T. J. Kippenberg
  2. Faculty of Physics, M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow 119991, Russia

    • N. M. Kondratiev
    •  & M. L. Gorodetsky
  3. Russian Quantum Center, Skolkovo 143025, Russia

    • M. L. Gorodetsky

Authors

  1. Search for T. Herr in:

  2. Search for V. Brasch in:

  3. Search for J. D. Jost in:

  4. Search for C. Y. Wang in:

  5. Search for N. M. Kondratiev in:

  6. Search for M. L. Gorodetsky in:

  7. Search for T. J. Kippenberg in:

Contributions

T.H. designed and performed the experiments and analysed the data. M.L.G. and T.H. performed the numerical simulations, M.L.G. developed the analytic description, V.B. assisted in the experiments, J.D.J. assisted in the temporal magnifier experiment, T.H. and M.L.G. fabricated the sample, C.Y.W. assisted in sample fabrication and N.M.K. assisted in developing the analytic description. T.H., M.L.G. and T.J.K. wrote the manuscript. T.J.K. supervised the project.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to M. L. Gorodetsky or T. J. Kippenberg.

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary information

Image files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary Movie

    Supplementary Movie

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2013.343

Further reading