Dealing with the increase in digital optical data transmission rates requires innovative approaches for stretching or compressing optical waveforms beyond the bandwidth limitations inherent in conventional electro‐optical systems. To this aim, photonic platforms exploiting ultrafast nonlinear phenomena have been successfully applied to the temporal stretching of optical waveforms. However, the inverse process, that is, the temporal compression of arbitrary lightwaves, has remained largely unexploited so far. Here we present an experimental demonstration of the extreme temporal compression of optical waveforms, including non‐trivial on‐demand time reversal. The method is based on counterpropagating degenerate four‐photon interaction in birefringent optical fibres. We demonstrate the performance of this system by generating the ultrafast replica of data packets with record temporal compression factors ranging from 4,350 to 13,000. This approach is scalable and offers great promise for ultrafast arbitrary optical waveform generation and related applications.
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We acknowledge A. Picozzi, P. Béjot, M. Guasoni, B. Kibler, C. Finot, A. Parriaux, G. Millot, H. Zhang, F. Leo and S. Pitois for fruitful discussions. We also acknowledge T. Villedieu from iXblue for providing the fibre parameters. J.F. acknowledges financial support from the CNRS, IRP Wall-IN project (CNRS research collaboration agreement no. 241655) and financial support from the Conseil Régional de Bourgogne Franche-Comté, International Mobility Program. This work is supported by la délégation régionale à la recherche et à la technologie and the European Union through the PO FEDER-FSE Bourgogne 2014/2020 programs. This work has benefited from the facilities of the SMARTLIGHT platform in Bourgogne Franche-Comté (EQUIPEX + ANR-21-ESRE-0040). S.C. and M.E. acknowledge financial support from The Royal Society of New Zealand, in the form of Marsden Funding (18-UOA-310) and Rutherford Discovery Fellowships.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Supplementary Sections 1–4 and Figs. 1–3.
Numerical simulation of the temporal compression of a data sequence.
Same data as in Supplementary Video 1, but the incident data sequence is replaced by an arbitrary-shaped waveform.
Spatiotemporal evolution of the temporal compression of a data sequence and the simultaneous temporal inversion.
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Berti, N., Coen, S., Erkintalo, M. et al. Extreme waveform compression with a nonlinear temporal focusing mirror. Nat. Photon. 16, 822–827 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41566-022-01072-1
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