Dynamics of soliton crystals in optical microresonators

Dissipative Kerr solitons in optical microresonators combine nonlinear optical physics with photonic-integrated technologies. They are promising for a number of applications ranging from optical coherent communications to astrophysical spectrometer calibration, and are also of fundamental interest to the physical sciences. Dissipative Kerr solitons can form a variety of stable states, including breathers and multiple-soliton formations. Among these states, soliton crystals stand out: temporally ordered ensembles of soliton pulses, which are regularly arranged by a modulation of the continuous-wave intracavity driving field. To date, however, the dynamics of soliton crystals and their defect-free generation remain unexplored. Here, we show that the chaotic operating regimes of driven optical microresonators significantly impact the dynamics of soliton crystals. We realize deterministic generation of perfect soliton crystal states, which correspond to a stable, defect-free lattice of intracavity optical pulses. We reveal a critical pump power, below which the stochastic process of soliton excitation abruptly becomes deterministic, which enables faultless, device-independent access to perfect soliton crystals. We also demonstrate the switching of these states and its relation to the regime of transient chaos. Finally, we report on other dynamical phenomena observed in soliton crystals including the formation of breathers, transitions between perfect soliton crystals, their melting and recrystallization.


Published in:
Nature Physics, 15, 10, 1071-+
Year:
Oct 01 2019
Publisher:
London, NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
ISSN:
1745-2473
1745-2481
Keywords:
Laboratories:




 Record created 2019-10-17, last modified 2020-04-20


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