Advanced Photonics, Vol. 2, Issue 3, 034001 (2020)
Advances in soliton microcomb generation
Weiqiang Wang1,†, Leiran Wang1,2, and Wenfu Zhang1,2,*
- 1Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics, State Key Laboratory of Transient Optics and Photonics, Xi’an, China
- 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Optical frequency combs, a revolutionary light source characterized by discrete and equally spaced frequencies, are usually regarded as a cornerstone for advanced frequency metrology, precision spectroscopy, high-speed communication, distance ranging, molecule detection, and many others. Due to the rapid development of micro/nanofabrication technology, breakthroughs in the quality factor of microresonators enable ultrahigh energy buildup inside cavities, which gives birth to microcavity-based frequency combs. In particular, the full coherent spectrum of the soliton microcomb (SMC) provides a route to low-noise ultrashort pulses with a repetition rate over two orders of magnitude higher than that of traditional mode-locking approaches. This enables lower power consumption and cost for a wide range of applications. This review summarizes recent achievements in SMCs, including the basic theory and physical model, as well as experimental techniques for single-soliton generation and various extraordinary soliton states (soliton crystals, Stokes solitons, breathers, molecules, cavity solitons, and dark solitons), with a perspective on their potential applications and remaining challenges.
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