Free-carrier-induced soliton fission unveiled by in situ measurements in nanophotonic waveguides

Husko, Chad A and Wulf, Matthias and Lefrançois, Simon and Combrié, Sylvain and Lehoucq, Gaëlle and De Rossi, Alfredo and Eggleton, Benjamin J and Kuipers, Laurens K (2016) Free-carrier-induced soliton fission unveiled by in situ measurements in nanophotonic waveguides. Nature Communications, 7. Article number: 11332 . ISSN 2041-1723

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Solitons are localized waves formed by a balance of focusing and defocusing effects. These nonlinear waves exist in diverse forms of matter yet exhibit similar properties including stability, periodic recurrence and particle-like trajectories. One important property is soliton fission, a process by which an energetic higher-order soliton breaks apart due to dispersive or nonlinear perturbations. Here we demonstrate through both experiment and theory that nonlinear photocarrier generation can induce soliton fission. Using near-field measurements, we directly observe the nonlinear spatial and temporal evolution of optical pulses in situ in a nanophotonic semiconductor waveguide. We develop an analytic formalism describing the free-carrier dispersion (FCD) perturbation and show the experiment exceeds the minimum threshold by an order of magnitude. We confirm these observations with a numerical nonlinear Schrödinger equation model. These results provide a fundamental explanation and physical scaling of optical pulse evolution in free-carrier media and could enable improved supercontinuum sources in gas based and integrated semiconductor waveguides.

Item Type: Article
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11332
Uncontrolled Keywords: MATERIALS SCIENCE, Physical sciences, Optical physics
Subjects: 500 Science > 530 Physics
Research Group: Fink Group
SWORD Depositor: Sword Import User
Depositing User: Sword Import User
Date Deposited: 25 May 2016 13:43
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2017 09:08

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