Universal dynamics and deterministic switching of dissipative Kerr solitons in optical microresonators

Hairun Guo, M. Karpov, E. Lucas, Arne Kordts, M.H.P. Pfeiffer, V. Brasch, G. Lihachev, V. E. Lobanov, M. L. Gorodetsky, T. J. Kippenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Temporal dissipative Kerr solitons in optical microresonators enable the generation of ultrashort pulses and low-noise frequency combs at microwave repetition rates. They have been demonstrated in a growing number of microresonator platforms, enabling chip-scale frequency combs, optical synthesis of low-noise microwaves and multichannel coherent communications. In all these applications, accessing and maintaining a single-soliton state is a key requirement—one that remains an outstanding challenge. Here, we study the dynamics of multiple-soliton states and report the discovery of a simple mechanism that deterministically switches the soliton state by reducing the number of solitons one by one. We demonstrate this control in Si3N4 and MgF2 resonators and, moreover, we observe a secondary peak to emerge in the response of the system to a pump modulation, an effect uniquely associated with the soliton regime. Exploiting this feature, we map the multi-stability diagram of a microresonator experimentally. Our measurements show the physical mechanism of the soliton switching and provide insight into soliton dynamics in microresonators. The technique provides a method to sequentially reduce, monitor and stabilize an arbitrary state with solitons, in particular allowing for feedback stabilization of single-soliton states, which is necessary for practical applications.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Physics
Number of pages10
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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