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Tailoring microcombs with inverse-designed, meta-dispersion microresonators



Erwan Lucas, Su-Peng Yu, Travis Briles, David Carlson, Scott Papp


Nonlinear wave mixing in optical microresonators ofers new perspectives to generate compact optical-frequency microcombs, which enable an ever-growing number of applications. Microcombs exhibit a spectral profle that is primarily determined by their microresonator's dispersion. One example is the sech2 spectrum of dissipative Kerr solitons under anomalous group-velocity dispersion. Here we introduce an inverse-design approach to spectrally shape microcombs, by optimizing an arbitrary meta-dispersion in a resonator. By incorporating the system's governing equation into a genetic algorithm, we are able to efciently identify a dispersion profle that produces a microcomb closely matching a user-defned target spectrum, such as spectrally fat combs or near-Gaussian pulses. We show a concrete implementation of these intricate optimized dispersion profles, using selective bidirectional-mode hybridization in photonic-crystal resonators. Moreover, we fabricate and explore several microcomb generators with such fexible 'meta' dispersion control. Their dispersion is not only controlled by the waveguide composing the resonator, but also by a corrugation inside the resonator, which geometrically controls the spectral distribution of the bidirectional coupling in the resonator. This approach provides programmable mode-by-mode frequency splitting and thus greatly increases the design space for controlling the nonlinear dynamics of optical states such as Kerr solitons.
Nature Photonics


Lucas, E. , Yu, S. , Briles, T. , Carlson, D. and Papp, S. (2023), Tailoring microcombs with inverse-designed, meta-dispersion microresonators, Nature Photonics, [online],, (Accessed June 25, 2024)


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Created July 17, 2023, Updated June 7, 2024