Imaging soliton dynamics in optical microcavities
Solitons are self-sustained wavepackets that occur in many physical systems. Their recent demonstration in optical microresonators has provided a new platform for the study of nonlinear optical physics with practical implications for miniaturization of time standards, spectroscopy tools, and frequency metrology systems. However, despite its importance to the understanding of soliton physics, as well as development of new applications, imaging the rich dynamical behavior of solitons in microcavities has not been possible. These phenomena require a difficult combination of high-temporal-resolution and long-record-length in order to capture the evolving trajectories of closely spaced microcavity solitons. Here, an imaging method is demonstrated that visualizes soliton motion with sub-picosecond resolution over arbitrary time spans. A wide range of complex soliton transient behavior are characterized in the temporal or spectral domain, including soliton formation, collisions, spectral breathing, and soliton decay. This method can serve as a visualization tool for developing new soliton applications and understanding complex soliton physics in microcavities.
Additional Information© 2018 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Received 25 June 2018; Accepted 24 July 2018; Published 03 September 2018. The authors thank Stephane Coen and Yun-Feng Xiao for helpful comments during the preparation of this manuscript and gratefully acknowledge the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR Award number FA9550-18-1-0353), NASA and the Kavli Nanoscience Institute. Author Contributions: Experiments were designed by all authors. X.Y. and Q.-F.Y. performed the measurements and modeling. K.Y.Y. fabricated devices. X.Y., Q.-F.Y., and K.V. analyzed the data. All authors participated in preparing the manuscript. The authors declare no competing interests. Data availability: The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
Published - s41467-018-06031-5.pdf
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