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Spontaneous Pulse Formation in Edgeless Photonic Crystal Resonators



Su P. Yu, Daniel Cole, Hojoong Jung, Gregory Moille, Kartik Srinivasan, Scott Papp


Complex systems are a proving ground for fundamental interactions between components and their collective emergent phenomena. Through intricate design, integrated photonics offers intriguing nonlinear inter- actions that create new patterns of light. In particular, the canonical Kerr- nonlinear resonator becomes unstable with a sufficiently intense traveling-wave excitation, yielding instead a Turing pattern composed of a few interfering waves. They also support the localized soliton pulse as a separate nonlinear stationary state. Kerr solitons are remarkably versatile for applications, but they cannot emerge from continuous excitation. Here, we explore an edge-less photonic-crystal resonator (PhCR) that enables spontaneous formation of a soliton pulse in place of the Turing pattern. We design a PhCR in the regime of single-azimuthal-mode engineering to re-balance Kerr-nonlinear frequency shifts in favor of the soliton state, commensurate with how group- velocity dispersion balances nonlinearity. Our experiments establish PhCR solitons as mode-locked pulses by way of ultraprecise optical- frequency measurements, and we characterize their fundamental properties. Our work shows that deep sub- wavelength nanophotonic design expands the palette for nonlinear engineering of light.


Kerr soliton, micro-resonator, nanofabrication, nonlinear optics, pattern formation, photonic crystal


Yu, S. , Cole, D. , Jung, H. , Moille, G. , Srinivasan, K. and Papp, S. (2021), Spontaneous Pulse Formation in Edgeless Photonic Crystal Resonators, Nature, [online], (Accessed July 20, 2024)


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Created April 29, 2021, Updated October 14, 2021