Dissipative Kerr solitons in optical microresonators

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The development of compact, chip-scale optical frequency comb sources (microcombs) based on parametric frequency conversion in microresonators has seen applications in terabit optical coherent communications, atomic clocks, ultrafast distance measurements, dual-comb spectroscopy, and the calibration of astophysical spectrometers and have enabled the creation of photonic-chip integrated frequency synthesizers. Underlying these recent advances has been the observation of temporal dissipative Kerr solitons in microresonators, which represent self-enforcing, stationary, and localized solutions of a damped, driven, and detuned nonlinear Schrödinger equation, which was first introduced to describe spatial self-organization phenomena. The generation of dissipative Kerr solitons provide a mechanism by which coherent optical combs with bandwidth exceeding one octave can be synthesized and have given rise to a host of phenomena, such as the Stokes soliton, soliton crystals, soliton switching, or dispersive waves. Soliton microcombs are compact, are compatible with wafer-scale processing, operate at low power, can operate with gigahertz to terahertz line spacing, and can enable the implementation of frequency combs in remote and mobile environments outside the laboratory environment, on Earth, airborne, or in outer space.

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