skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

This content will become publicly available on September 19, 2024

Title: Accurate modeling of ultrafast nonlinear pulse propagation in multimode gain fiber

The nonlinear propagation of picosecond or femtosecond optical pulses in multimode fiber amplifiers underlies a variety of intriguing physical phenomena as well as the potential for scaling sources of ultrashort pulses to higher powers. However, existing theoretical models of ultrashort-pulse amplification do not include some critical processes, and, as a result, they fail to capture basic features of experiments. We introduce a numerical model that combines steady-state rate equations with the unidirectional pulse propagation equation, incorporating dispersion, Kerr and Raman nonlinearities, and gain/loss-spectral effects in a mode-resolved treatment that is computationally efficient. This model allows investigation of spatiotemporal processes that are strongly affected by gain dynamics. Its capabilities are illustrated through examinations of amplification in few-mode gain fiber, multimode nonlinear amplification, and beam cleaning in a multimode fiber amplifier.

more » « less
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Optical Society of America
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of the Optical Society of America B
0740-3224; JOBPDE
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Article No. 2633
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Kerr beam cleaning is a nonlinear phenomenon in graded-index multimode fiber where power flows toward the fundamental mode, generating bell-shaped output beams. Here we study beam cleaning of femtosecond pulses accompanied by gain in a multimode fiber amplifier. Mode-resolved energy measurements and numerical simulations showed that the amplifier generates beams with high fundamental mode content (greater than 30% of the overall pulse energy) for a wide range of amplification levels. Control experiments using stretched pulses that evolve without strong Kerr nonlinear effects showed a degrading beam profile, in contrast to nonlinear beam cleaning. Temporal measurements showed that seed pulse parameters have a strong effect on the amplified pulse quality. These results may influence the design of future high-performance fiber lasers and amplifiers.

    more » « less
  2. While the performance of mode-locked fiber lasers has been improved significantly, the limited gain bandwidth restricts them from generating ultrashort pulses approaching a few cycles or even shorter. Here we present a novel method to achieve few-cycle pulses (5  cycles) with an ultrabroad spectrum (400  nmat20  dB) from a Mamyshev oscillator configuration by inserting a highly nonlinear photonic crystal fiber and a dispersion delay line into the cavity. A dramatic intracavity spectral broadening can be stabilized by the unique nonlinear processes of a self-similar evolution as a nonlinear attractor in the gain fiber and a “perfect” saturable absorber action of the Mamyshev oscillator. To the best of our knowledge, this is the shortest pulse width and broadest spectrum directly generated from a fiber laser.

    more » « less
  3. The peak power performance of ultrafast fiber lasers scales with fiber mode area, but large fibers host multiple modes that are difficult to control. We demonstrate a technique for single-mode operation of highly multimode fiber based on regenerative amplification. This results in a short-pulse fiber source with, to our knowledge, an unprecedented combination of features: high gain (>55dB) with negligible amplified spontaneous emission, high pulse energy (>50µJ), good beam quality (M2≤1.3), and transform-limited (300 fs) pulses from a single amplification stage. We discuss peak intensity scaling to much higher levels and other opportunities for short-pulse generation in regenerative fiber amplifiers.

    more » « less
  4. Ultrashort pulses propagating in nonlinear nanophotonic waveguides can simultaneously leverage both temporal and spatial field confinement, promising a route towards single-photon nonlinearities in an all-photonic platform. In this multimode quantum regime, however, faithful numerical simulations of pulse dynamics naïvely require a representation of the state in an exponentially large Hilbert space. Here, we employ a time-domain, matrix product state (MPS) representation to enable efficient simulations by exploiting the entanglement structure of the system. To extract physical insight from these simulations, we develop an algorithm to unravel the MPS quantum state into constituent temporal supermodes, enabling, e.g., access to the phase-space portraits of arbitrary pulse waveforms. As a demonstration, we perform exact numerical simulations of a Kerr soliton in the quantum regime. We observe the development of non-classical Wigner-function negativity in the solitonic mode as well as quantum corrections to the semiclassical dynamics of the pulse. A similar analysis ofχ<#comment/>(2)simultons reveals a unique entanglement structure between the fundamental and second harmonics. Our approach is also readily compatible with quantum trajectory theory, allowing full quantum treatment of propagation loss and decoherence. We expect this work to establish the MPS technique as part of a unified engineering framework for the emerging field of broadband quantum photonics.

    more » « less
  5. The realization of deterministic photon–photon gates is a central goal in optical quantum computation and engineering. A longstanding challenge is that optical nonlinearities in scalable, room-temperature material platforms are too weak to achieve the required strong coupling, due to the critical loss-confinement trade-off in existing photonic structures. In this work, we introduce a spatio-temporal confinement method, dispersion-engineered temporal trapping, to circumvent the trade-off, enabling a route to all-optical strong coupling. Temporal confinement is imposed by an auxiliary trap pulse via cross-phase modulation, which, combined with the spatial confinement of a waveguide, creates a “flying cavity” that enhances the nonlinear interaction strength by at least an order of magnitude. Numerical simulations confirm that temporal trapping confines the multimode nonlinear dynamics to a single-mode subspace, enabling high-fidelity deterministic quantum gate operations. With realistic dispersion engineering and loss figures, we show that temporally trapped ultrashort pulses could achieve strong coupling on near-term nonlinear nanophotonic platforms. Our results highlight the potential of ultrafast nonlinear optics to become the first scalable, high-bandwidth, and room-temperature platform that achieves strong coupling, opening a path to quantum computing, simulation, and light sources.

    more » « less