Spatial-mode-interaction-induced dispersive-waves and their active tuning in microresonators

Research paper by Qi-Fan Yang, Xu Yi, Ki Youl Yang, Kerry Vahala

Indexed on: 02 Jun '16Published on: 02 Jun '16Published in: Physics - Optics


The nonlinear propagation of optical pulses in dielectric waveguides and resonators provides a laboratory to investigate a wide range of remarkable interactions. Many of the resulting phenomena find applications in optical systems. One example is dispersive wave generation, the optical analog of Cherenkov radiation. These waves have an essential role in fiber spectral broadeners that are routinely used in spectrocopy and metrology. Dispersive waves form when a soliton pulse begins to radiate power as a result of higher-order dispersion. Recently, dispersive wave generation in microcavities has been reported by phase matching the waves to dissipative Kerr cavity (DKC) solitons. Here, it is shown that spatial mode interactions within a microcavity can also be used to induce dispersive waves. These interactions are normally avoided altogether in DKC soliton generation. The soliton self frequency shift is also shown to induce fine tuning control of the dispersive wave frequency. Both this mechanism and spatial mode interactions provide a new method to spectrally control these important waves.