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Optica Publishing Group
  • 2015 European Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics - European Quantum Electronics Conference
  • (Optica Publishing Group, 2015),
  • paper EF_3_1

Soliton explosions in a passively mode-locked fiber laser

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Abstract

Mode-locked fiber lasers can be host to numerous exotic dissipative structures, and they have thus become ideal testbeds for the exploration of complex dissipative dynamics [1]. Among all such dynamics, soliton explosions display perhaps the most astonishing characteristics. In this regime, a quasi-stable dissipative soliton circulates in the laser cavity for a number of roundtrips, but then suddenly undergoes an abrupt structural collapse. Remarkably, after a few roundtrips the collapsed pulse self-recovers and returns back to its initial form. Such explosions were first observed in numerical simulations of the cubic-quintic Ginzburg-Landau equation [2], and they have ever since attracted significant theoretical interest [3]. However, the extreme transient nature of the explosions makes them difficult to capture in laboratory measurements. In fact, so far only one observation has been reported, in a solid-state Ti:Sapphire laser [4]. Here we report on the first observation of soliton explosions in a passively mode-locked fiber laser. We use the dispersive Fourier transformation (DFT) [5] to record the shot-to-shot spectra emitted by the laser, identifying clear signatures of soliton explosions, when operating in a regime between stable and noise-like emission [6]. We also show that explosions manifest themselves in the time-domain as abrupt, measurable temporal shifts of the pulse train [6].

© 2015 IEEE

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