From the Lugiato-Lefever equation to microresonator-based soliton Kerr frequency combs

The model, that is usually called the Lugiato-Lefever equation (LLE), was introduced in 1987 with the aim of providing a paradigm for dissipative structure and pattern formation in nonlinear optics. This model, describing a driven, detuned and damped nonlinear Schroedinger equation, gives rise to dissipative spatial and temporal solitons. Recently, the rather idealized conditions, assumed in the LLE, have materialized in the form of continuous wave driven optical microresonators, with the discovery of temporal dissipative Kerr solitons (DKS). These experiments have revealed that the LLE is a perfect and exact description of Kerr frequency combs-first observed in 2007, i.e. 20 years after the original formulation of the LLE-and in particular describe soliton states. Observed to spontaneously form in Kerr frequency combs in crystalline microresonators in 2013, such DKS are preferred state of operation, offering coherent and broadband optical frequency combs, whose bandwidth can be extended exploiting soliton-induced broadening phenomena. Combined with the ability to miniaturize and integrate on-chip, microresonator-based soliton Kerr frequency combs have already found applications in self-referenced frequency combs, dual-comb spectroscopy, frequency synthesis, low noise microwave generation, laser frequency ranging, and astrophysical spectrometer calibration, and have the potential to make comb technology ubiquitous. As such, pattern formation in driven, dissipative nonlinear optical systems is becoming the central Physics of soliton micro-comb technology.
This article is part of the theme issue 'Dissipative structures in matter out of equilibrium: from chemistry, photonics and biology (part 2)'.

Published in:
Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical And Engineering Sciences, 376, 2135, 20180113
Dec 28 2018

 Record created 2018-12-13, last modified 2019-01-22

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