Breathing dissipative solitons in optical microresonators

E Lucas, M Karpov, H Guo, M L Gorodetsky, T J Kippenberg
Nature Communications 2017 September 29, 8 (1): 736
Dissipative solitons are self-localised structures resulting from the double balance of dispersion by nonlinearity and dissipation by a driving force arising in numerous systems. In Kerr-nonlinear optical resonators, temporal solitons permit the formation of light pulses in the cavity and the generation of coherent optical frequency combs. Apart from shape-invariant stationary solitons, these systems can support breathing dissipative solitons exhibiting a periodic oscillatory behaviour. Here, we generate and study single and multiple breathing solitons in coherently driven microresonators. We present a deterministic route to induce soliton breathing, allowing a detailed exploration of the breathing dynamics in two microresonator platforms. We measure the relation between the breathing frequency and two control parameters-pump laser power and effective-detuning-and observe transitions to higher periodicity, irregular oscillations and switching, in agreement with numerical predictions. Using a fast detection, we directly observe the spatiotemporal dynamics of individual solitons, which provides evidence of breather synchronisation.Dissipative Kerr solitons enable optical frequency comb generation in microresonators, but these solitons can undergo a breathing transition which impacts the stability of such microcombs. Here, Lucas et al. deterministically induce soliton breathing and directly observe the spatiotemporal dynamics.

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