Photonic chip-based soliton frequency combs covering the biological imaging window

Dissipative Kerr solitons (DKS) in optical microresonators provide a highly miniaturised, chip-integrated frequency comb source with unprecedentedly high repetition rates and spectral bandwidth. To date, such frequency comb sources have been successfully applied in the optical telecommunication band for dual-comb spectroscopy, coherent telecommunications, counting of optical frequencies and distance measurements. Yet, the range of applications could be significantly extended by operating in the near-infrared spectral domain, which is a prerequisite for biomedical and Raman imaging applications, and hosts commonly used optical atomic transitions. Here we show the operation of photonic-chip-based soliton Kerr combs driven with 1 micron laser light. By engineering the dispersion properties of a Si3N4 microring resonator, octave-spanning soliton Kerr combs extending to 776 nm are attained, thereby covering the optical biological imaging window. Moreover, we show that soliton states can be generated in normal group–velocity dispersion regions when exploiting mode hybridisation with other mode families.

Published in:
Nature Communications, 9, 1, 1146

 Record created 2018-03-27, last modified 2018-12-03

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