Supercontinuum generation and soliton dynamics milestone achieved

November 20, 2008

A research team led by Fetah Benabid, University of Bath, has observed for the first time the simultaneous emission of two resonant dispersive waves by optical solitons (waves that maintain their shape while traveling at constant speeds). By designing a special fiber with an extremely small waveguiding feature located in the photonic crystal fiber cladding, the researchers were able to bring the theoretical prediction into the experimental demonstration, creating waves on both sides of the pump. This research appears in the current issue of the Optical Society's Optics Letters.

Summary

Since the 1980s, dispersive waves have been studied in the concept of solitons. The waves result due to perturbations that cause the soliton to lose some energy. Now, because of the flexibility in the design of Benabid's fiber, the waves are more general than they have been in the past. These "general" waves allow for a further degree of control over supercontinuum generation and have enabled a new way of generating coherent supercontinuum spectra, which is useful in a number of applications such as frequency combs. In addition, this new milestone introduces the opportunity for very compact femtosecond lasers.

Key Findings

  • For the first time, two resonant dispersive waves have been observed on both sides of the pump, providing an experimental corroboration to what previously only had been theoretical.
  • The unique design of the fiber itself - a nanometric-sized, rectangular-shaped waveguiding feature located in the photonic crystal fiber cladding - makes these waves more general than they have been in past experiments.
  • The tight confinement along with the particular dispersion properties allow supercontinuum to be generated very efficiently and over very short length, creating the potential for very compact femtosecond lasers.
  • -end-
    Paper

    "Fourth-order dispersion mediated solitonic radiations in HC-PCF cladding," Optics Letters, Vol. 33, Issue 22, pp. 2680.

    For a copy of the paper, please e-mail cmorri@osa.org.

    Abstract

    We observe experimentally, for the first time to our knowledge, the simultaneous emission of two strong conjugate resonant dispersive waves by optical solitons. The effect is observed in a small waveguiding glass-feature within the cladding of a Kagome hollowcore photonic crystal fiber. We demonstrate theoretically that the phenomenon is attributed to the unusually high fourth-order dispersion coefficient of the waveguiding feature.

    Experts Available

    Lead Author:
    Fetah Benabid
    Department of Physics, University of Bath, UK

    Industry Source:
    Stephane Coen
    Auckland University, New Zealand
    Topical Editor, Optics Letters

    To set up interviews, please contact Colleen Morrison, 202.416.1437 or cmorri@osa.org.

    About OSA

    Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org.

    The Optical Society

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