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Adaptive wavefront shaping for controlling nonlinear multimode interactions in optical fibres


Recent progress in wavefront shaping has enabled control of light propagation inside linear media to focus and image through scattering objects. In particular, light propagation in multimode fibres comprises complex intermodal interactions and rich spatiotemporal dynamics. Control of physical phenomena in multimode fibres and its applications are in their infancy, opening opportunities to take advantage of complex nonlinear modal dynamics. Here, we demonstrate a wavefront shaping approach for controlling nonlinear phenomena in multimode fibres. Using a spatial light modulator at the fibre input, real-time spectral feedback and a genetic algorithm optimization, we control a highly nonlinear multimode stimulated Raman scattering cascade and its interplay with four-wave mixing via a flexible implicit control on the superposition of modes coupled into the fibre. We show versatile spectrum manipulations including shifts, suppression, and enhancement of Stokes and anti-Stokes peaks. These demonstrations illustrate the power of wavefront shaping to control and optimize nonlinear wave propagation.

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Fig. 1: System for WFS in nonlinear multimode fibres.
Fig. 2: WFS of FWM.
Fig. 3: WFS of SRS peaks.
Fig. 4: WFS of spectral shifts.
Fig. 5: SRS cascade suppression through high-mode excitation.


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We thank F. Wise, L. Wright and R. Ulbricht for fruitful discussions. We thank S. Singh for help with the mode simulations. We acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation through awards 1611513 and 1548924, and from the National Institute of Health award REY026436A.

Author information




O.T., A.M.C.-A. and R.P. initiated the project. A.M.C.-A. and O.T. performed the SRS enhancement experiments. O.T. designed and preformed the FWM and suppression experiments. K.W. and O.T. preformed the intermodal phase-matching analysis. O.T. and A.M.C.-A. preformed the numerical simulations. R.P. provided overall supervision. O.T. wrote the first version of the manuscript. All authors were involved in the analysis of the results and revision of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Omer Tzang.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

This file contains details of modal phase matching, mode analysis for different fibre profile parameters, numerical simulations, fundamental and technological limitations of the approach, wavefront shaping of spectral shifts, fibre length effect on nonlinearity, and SLM damage monitoring procedure for high-power lasers.

Supplementary Video 1

Anti-Stokes enhancement.

Supplementary Video 2

Peak wavelength shift.

Supplementary Video 3

Suppression of stimulated Raman scattering.

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Tzang, O., Caravaca-Aguirre, A.M., Wagner, K. et al. Adaptive wavefront shaping for controlling nonlinear multimode interactions in optical fibres. Nature Photon 12, 368–374 (2018).

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