skip to main content

Title: Converting noise into solitons: optical self-organization through intermodal nonlinearity

We experimentally demonstrate a pump-pulse-induced conversion of noise into solitons in multimode optical fibers. The process is based on the recently discovered phenomenon of soliton self-mode conversion, where a pump soliton in a higher-order spatial mode crafts another well-defined soliton, originating purely from noise, in a lower-order mode at a longer wavelength through intermodal Raman scattering. The lack of the need for any seed or cavity feedback demonstrates that soliton self-mode conversion is a fundamentally unavoidable, but nevertheless tailorable and hence useful, self-organizing nonlinear optical effect capable of turning noise into transform limited solitons.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10231832
Journal Name:
Optics Express
Volume:
29
Issue:
12
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 18315
ISSN:
1094-4087; OPEXFF
Publisher:
Optical Society of America
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Dissipative Kerr solitons in resonant frequency combs offer a promising route for ultrafast mode-locking, precision spectroscopy and time-frequency standards. The dynamics for the dissipative soliton generation, however, are intrinsically intertwined with thermal nonlinearities, limiting the soliton generation parameter map and statistical success probabilities of the solitary state. Here, via use of an auxiliary laser heating approach to suppress thermal dragging dynamics in dissipative soliton comb formation, we demonstrate stable Kerr soliton singlet formation and soliton bursts. First, we access a new soliton existence range with an inverse-sloped Kerr soliton evolution—diminishing soliton energy with increasing pump detuning. Second, we achieve deterministic transitions from Turing-like comb patterns directly into the dissipative Kerr soliton singlet pulse bypassing the chaotic states. This is achieved by avoiding subcomb overlaps at lower pump power, with near-identical singlet soliton comb generation over twenty instances. Third, with the red-detuned pump entrance route enabled, we uncover unique spontaneous soliton bursts in the direct formation of low-noise optical frequency combs from continuum background noise. The burst dynamics are due to the rapid entry and mutual attraction of the pump laser into the cavity mode, aided by the auxiliary laser and matching well with our numerical simulations. Enabled by themore »auxiliary-assisted frequency comb dynamics, we demonstrate an application of automatic soliton comb recovery and long-term stabilization against strong external perturbations. Our findings hold potential to expand the parameter space for ultrafast nonlinear dynamics and precision optical frequency comb stabilization.

    « less
  2. We show that a soliton in a high-order spatial mode of a multi-mode fiber can completely lose its shot-to-shot coherence due to a noise seed with energy orders of magnitude below that of the soliton. The total degradation of shot-to-shot coherence is caused by a very strong recently demonstrated intermodal nonlinear effect, soliton self-mode conversion. The results indicate that the robustness of solitons against perturbations is not entirely applicable in the presence of intermodal nonlinearities, and, more generally, that certain single-mode results cannot be trivially extrapolated to multi-mode fibers.

  3. Abstract

    Millimetre-wave (mmWave) technology continues to draw great interest due to its broad applications in wireless communications, radar, and spectroscopy. Compared to pure electronic solutions, photonic-based mmWave generation provides wide bandwidth, low power dissipation, and remoting through low-loss fibres. However, at high frequencies, two major challenges exist for the photonic system: the power roll-off of the photodiode, and the large signal linewidth derived directly from the lasers. Here, we demonstrate a new photonic mmWave platform combining integrated microresonator solitons and high-speed photodiodes to address the challenges in both power and coherence. The solitons, being inherently mode-locked, are measured to provide 5.8 dB additional gain through constructive interference among mmWave beatnotes, and the absolute mmWave power approaches the theoretical limit of conventional heterodyne detection at 100 GHz. In our free-running system, the soliton is capable of reducing the mmWave linewidth by two orders of magnitude from that of the pump laser. Our work leverages microresonator solitons and high-speed modified uni-traveling carrier photodiodes to provide a viable path to chip-scale, high-power, low-noise, high-frequency sources for mmWave applications.

  4. Wavelength transduction of single-photon signals is indispensable to networked quantum applications, particularly those incorporating quantum memories. Lithium niobate nanophotonic devices have demonstrated favorable linear, nonlinear, and electro-optical properties to deliver this crucial function while offering superior efficiency, integrability, and scalability. Yet, their quantum noise level—a crucial metric for any single-photon-based application—has yet to be investigated. In this work, we report the first, to the best of our knowledge, study with the focus on telecom to near-visible conversion driven by a small detuned telecom pump for practical considerations in distributed quantum processing over fiber networks. Our results find the noise level to be on the order of10−<#comment/>4photons per time-frequency mode for high conversion, allowing faithful pulsed operations. Through carefully analyzing the origins of such noise and each’s dependence on the pump power and wavelength detuning, we have also identified a formula for noise suppression to10−<#comment/>5photons per mode. Our results assert a viable, low-cost, and modular approach to networked quantum processing and beyond using lithium niobate nanophotonics.

  5. Abstract

    Pathways towards the generation of extreme optical pulsation in a chaotic transition regime in a linear fibre laser cavity configuration are presented. In a thulium mode-locked fibre laser, extreme events that can be controllably induced by manipulating the cavity birefringence for pulse energies exceeding the single soliton pulse operating regime are studied in detail for the first time. While a solitonic pulsation structure at the fundamental repetition rate is maintained, additional energy is shed in a chaotic manner, leading to broader spectral generation and shorter pulse durations whose behaviour deviates significantly from a classical statistical distribution. These pulses display markedly different characteristics from any previously reported extreme events in fibre lasers associated with multiple solitons and pulse bunching, thus presenting a novel observation of extreme pulsation. Detailed noise studies indicate that significant enhancement of relaxation oscillations, modulation instability and the interplay with reabsorption mechanisms contribute in this transient chaotic regime. The extreme pulsation generated in a compact fibre laser without any additional nonlinear attractors can provide an attractive platform to accelerate the exploration of the underlying physics of the chaos observed in mode-locked laser systems and can lead to novel fibre laser cavity designs.