Low-threshold parametric oscillation in organically modified microcavities.
ABSTRACT: Coherent frequency generators are an enabling platform in basic science and applied technology. Originally reliant on high-power lasers, recently comb generation has been demonstrated in ultrahigh-Q microcavities. The large circulating intensity within the cavity results in strong light-matter interaction, giving rise to Kerr parametric oscillations for comb generation. However, the comb generation threshold is limited by competing nonlinear effects within the cavity material and low intrinsic material Kerr coefficients. We report a new strategy to fabricate near-infrared frequency combs based on combining high-Q microcavities with monomolecular layers of highly nonlinear small molecules. The functionalized microcavities demonstrate high-efficiency parametric oscillation in the near-IR and generate primary frequency combs with 0.88-mW thresholds, improving optical parametric oscillation generation over nonfunctionalized devices by three orders of magnitude. This organic-inorganic approach enables otherwise unattainable performance and will inspire the next generation of integrated photonic device platforms.
Project description:Laser frequency combs are coherent light sources that simultaneously provide pristine frequency spacings for precision metrology and the fundamental basis for ultrafast and attosecond sciences. Recently, nonlinear parametric conversion in high-Q microresonators has been suggested as an alternative platform for optical frequency combs, though almost all in 100 GHz frequencies or more. Here we report a low-phase-noise on-chip Kerr frequency comb with mode spacing compatible with high-speed silicon optoelectronics. The waveguide cross-section of the silicon nitride spiral resonator is designed to possess small and flattened group velocity dispersion, so that the Kerr frequency comb contains a record-high number of 3,600 phase-locked comb lines. We study the single-sideband phase noise as well as the long-term frequency stability and report the lowest phase noise floor achieved to date with -130 dBc/Hz at 1 MHz offset for the 18 GHz Kerr comb oscillator, along with feedback stabilization to achieve frequency Allan deviations of 7 × 10(-11) in 1 s. The reported system is a promising compact platform for achieving self-referenced Kerr frequency combs and also for high-capacity coherent communication architectures.
Project description: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 the 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.
Project description:Optical frequency combs have the potential to revolutionize terabit communications1. Generation of Kerr combs in nonlinear microresonators2 represents a particularly promising option3 enabling line spacings of tens of GHz. However, such combs may exhibit strong phase noise4-6, which has made high-speed data transmission impossible up to now. Here we demonstrate that systematic adjustment of pump conditions for low phase noise4,7-9 enables coherent data transmission with advanced modulation formats that pose stringent requirements on the spectral purity of the comb. In a first experiment, we encode a data stream of 392 Gbit/s on a Kerr comb using quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK) and 16-state quadrature amplitude modulation (16QAM). A second experiment demonstrates feedback-stabilization of the comb and transmission of a 1.44 Tbit/s data stream over up to 300 km. The results show that Kerr combs meet the highly demanding requirements of coherent communications and thus offer an attractive solution towards chip-scale terabit/s transceivers.
Project description:Microresonator frequency combs harness the nonlinear Kerr effect in an integrated optical cavity to generate a multitude of phase-locked frequency lines. The line spacing can reach values in the order of 100?GHz, making it an attractive multi-wavelength light source for applications in fiber-optic communications. Depending on the dispersion of the microresonator, different physical dynamics have been observed. A recently discovered comb state corresponds to the formation of mode-locked dark pulses in a normal-dispersion microcavity. Such dark-pulse combs are particularly compelling for advanced coherent communications since they display unusually high power-conversion efficiency. Here, we report the first coherent-transmission experiments using 64-quadrature amplitude modulation encoded onto the frequency lines of a dark-pulse comb. The high conversion efficiency of the comb enables transmitted optical signal-to-noise ratios above 33?dB, while maintaining a laser pump power level compatible with state-of-the-art hybrid silicon lasers.
Project description:A single closed-form analytical solution of the driven nonlinear Schrödinger equation is developed, reproducing a large class of the behaviors in Kerr-comb systems, including bright-solitons, dark-solitons, and a large class of periodic wavetrains. From this analytical framework, a Kerr-comb area theorem and a pump-detuning relation are developed, providing new insights into soliton- and wavetrain-based combs along with concrete design guidelines for both. This new area theorem reveals significant deviation from the conventional soliton area theorem, which is crucial to understanding cavity solitons in certain limits. Moreover, these closed-form solutions represent the first step towards an analytical framework for wavetrain formation, and reveal new parameter regimes for enhanced Kerr-comb performance.
Project description:Simultaneous Kerr comb formation and second-harmonic generation with on-chip microresonators can greatly facilitate comb self-referencing for optical clocks and frequency metrology. Moreover, the presence of both second- and third-order nonlinearities results in complex cavity dynamics that is of high scientific interest but is still far from being well-understood. Here, we demonstrate that the interaction between the fundamental and the second-harmonic waves can provide an entirely new way of phase matching for four-wave mixing in optical microresonators, enabling the generation of optical frequency combs in the normal dispersion regime under conditions where comb creation is ordinarily prohibited. We derive new coupled time-domain mean-field equations and obtain simulation results showing good qualitative agreement with our experimental observations. Our findings provide a novel way of overcoming the dispersion limit for simultaneous Kerr comb formation and second-harmonic generation, which might prove to be especially important in the near-visible to visible range where several atomic transitions commonly used for the stabilization of optical clocks are located and where the large normal material dispersion is likely to dominate.
Project description: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.
Project description:Microresonator Kerr frequency combs could provide miniaturised solutions for a wide range of applications. Many of these applications however require further manipulation of the generated frequency comb signal using photonic elements with strong second-order nonlinearity (χ(2)). To date these functionalities have largely been implemented as discrete components due to material limitations, which comes at the expense of extra system complexity and increased optical losses. Here we demonstrate the generation, filtering and electro-optic modulation of a frequency comb on a single monolithic integrated chip, using a nanophotonic lithium-niobate platform that simultaneously possesses large electro-optic (χ(2)) and Kerr (χ(3)) nonlinearities, and low optical losses. We generate broadband Kerr frequency combs using a dispersion-engineered high-Q lithium-niobate microresonator, select a single comb line using an electrically programmable add-drop filter, and modulate the intensity of the selected line. Our results pave the way towards monolithic integrated frequency comb solutions for spectroscopy, data communication, ranging and quantum photonics.
Project description:Optical frequency combs-coherent light sources that connect optical frequencies with microwave oscillations-have become the enabling tool for precision spectroscopy, optical clockwork, and attosecond physics over the past decades. Current benchmark systems are self-referenced femtosecond mode-locked lasers, but Kerr nonlinear dynamics in high-Q solid-state microresonators has recently demonstrated promising features as alternative platforms. The advance not only fosters studies of chip-scale frequency metrology but also extends the realm of optical frequency combs. We report the full stabilization of chip-scale optical frequency combs. The microcomb's two degrees of freedom, one of the comb lines and the native 18-GHz comb spacing, are simultaneously phase-locked to known optical and microwave references. Active comb spacing stabilization improves long-term stability by six orders of magnitude, reaching a record instrument-limited residual instability of [Formula: see text]. Comparing 46 nitride frequency comb lines with a fiber laser frequency comb, we demonstrate the unprecedented microcomb tooth-to-tooth relative frequency uncertainty down to 50 mHz and 2.7 × 10(-16), heralding novel solid-state applications in precision spectroscopy, coherent communications, and astronomical spectrography.
Project description:Dual-comb spectroscopy is a powerful technique for real-time, broadband optical sampling of molecular spectra, which requires no moving components. Recent developments with microresonator-based platforms have enabled frequency combs at the chip scale. However, the need to precisely match the resonance wavelengths of distinct high quality-factor microcavities has hindered the development of on-chip dual combs. We report the simultaneous generation of two microresonator combs on the same chip from a single laser, drastically reducing experimental complexity. We demonstrate broadband optical spectra spanning 51 THz and low-noise operation of both combs by deterministically tuning into soliton mode-locked states using integrated microheaters, resulting in narrow (<10 kHz) microwave beat notes. We further use one comb as a reference to probe the formation dynamics of the other comb, thus introducing a technique to investigate comb evolution without auxiliary lasers or microwave oscillators. We demonstrate high signal-to-noise ratio absorption spectroscopy spanning 170 nm using the dual-comb source over a 20-?s acquisition time. Our device paves the way for compact and robust spectrometers at nanosecond time scales enabled by large beat-note spacings (>1 GHz).