Perfect soliton crystals on demand

30 Sep 2019  ·  He Yang, Ling Jingwei, Li Mingxiao, Lin Qiang ·

Recent advance of soliton microcombs has shown great promise to revolutionize many important areas such as optical communication, spectroscopic sensing, optical clock, and frequency synthesis. A largely tunable comb line spacing is crucial for the practical application of soliton microcombs, which unfortunately is challenging to realize for an on-chip monolithic microresonator... The recently discovered perfect soliton crystal (PSC) offers a convenient route to tune the comb line spacing. However, excitation of a PSC is generally stochastic by its nature and accessing a certain PSC state requires delicate tuning procedure. Here we demonstrate the on-demand generation of PSCs in a lithium niobate microresonator. The unique device characteristics allow us to produce a variety of PCSs and to switch between different PSC states, deterministically and repetitively. We utilize the device to show arbitrary dialing of the comb line spacing from 1 to 11 times of the free-spectral range of the resonator. The demonstration of PCSs on demand may now open up a great avenue for flexibly controlling the repetition rate of soliton pulses, which would significantly enhance and extend the application potential of soliton microcombs for communication, signal processing, and sensing. read more

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