Free-carrier-assisted mid-infrared microcavity soliton generation

Weichen Fan, Qibing Sun, Zhizhou Lu, Leiran Wang, Wei Zhao, Wenfu Zhang

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Abstract

Multi-photon absorption (MPA) and free-carrier (FC) effects, usually considered to be detrimental to microcomb generation by introducing strong nonlinear loss, also offer opportunities to overwhelm the thermal-optic effect by modifying the refractive index. Here, we derive the theoretical expression of solitons expanded with MPA and FC effects, accompanied by numerical simulations to reveal the dynamics and mechanism for capturing steady mid-infrared solitons in both Si and Ge microcavities. It is found that with increased FC lifetime, the intensity-dependent MPA underlies non-monotonous variation of nonlinear detuning which enables soliton generation. More interestingly, proper control on the FC lifetime admits bidirectional switching of soliton states (i.e., both decreasing and increasing the number of solitons) as well as self-starting solitons, yielding different technique routes toward microcavity solitons. This research could contribute to a better understanding of nonlinear behaviors influenced by FC effects and find practical applications by releasing the demand on precise control of laser sources, which is especially meaningful for the mid-infrared region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number083106
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume129
Issue number8
Number of pages8
ISSN0021-8979
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Hairun Guo and Xiaohong Hu for valuable discussions. The authors acknowledge the support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC) (Grant Nos. 61635013, 61675231, 61705257, and 61805277), the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDB24030600), and the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of CAS (No. 2016353).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Author(s).

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