Indexed on: 04 Jun '16Published on: 30 May '16Published in: Nature Photonics
Soliton fibre lasers mode-locked at a high harmonic of their round-trip frequency have many potential applications, from telecommunications to data storage1. Control of multiple pulses in passively mode-locked fibre lasers has, however, proved very difficult to achieve. This has recently changed with the advent of fibre lasers mode-locked by intense optomechanical interactions in a short length of photonic crystal fibre2, 3. Optomechanical coupling between cavity modes gives rise to highly stable, optomechanically bound, laser soliton states. The repetition rate of these states corresponds to the mechanical resonant frequency in the photonic crystal fibre core4, which can be a few gigahertz. Here we show that this system can be successfully used for programmable generation and storage of gigahertz-rate soliton sequences over many hours.