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Temporal solitons in microresonators driven by optical pulses
Continuous-wave laser-driven, high-Q Kerr–nonlinear optical microresonators have enabled the generation of optical frequency combs, ultralow-noise microwaves and ultrashort optical pulses at tens of gigahertz repetition rate. Here, we break with the paradigm of the continuous-wave driving and instead use periodic, picosecond optical pulses. In a fibre-based Fabry–Pérot microresonator we observe the deterministic generation of stable femtosecond dissipative cavity solitons ‘on top’ of the resonantly enhanced driving pulses. The solitons lock to the driving pulse, which enables direct all-optical control of the soliton's repetition rate and tuning of its carrier-envelope offset frequency. When compared with continuous-wave-driven microresonators or non-resonant pulsed supercontinuum generation, this new approach is more efficient and can yield broadband frequency combs at an average driving power significantly below the continuous-wave parametric threshold. Bridging the fields of continuous-wave-driven resonant and pulse-driven non-resonant nonlinear optics, these results enable efficient microresonator frequency combs, resonant supercontinuum generation and microphotonic pulse compression.

Authors: E. Obrzud, S. Lecomte, T. Herr.

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