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Enhancing the long-term stability of dissipative Kerr soliton microcomb

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Abstract

A temporal dissipative Kerr soliton (DKS) frequency comb can be generated in an optical micro-cavity relying on the rigid balance between cavity decay (dispersion) and parametric gain (nonlinear phase modulation) induced by an intense pump laser. In practice, to maintain such delicate double balances experienced by the intracavity soliton pulses, it requires precise control of the pump laser frequency and power, as well as the micro-cavity parameters. However, to date there still lacks experimental demonstration that simultaneously stabilizes all these key parameters to enhance the long-term DKS stability. Here, we demonstrate continuous working of a on-chip DKS microcomb for a record-breaking 14 days without showing any sign of breakdown. Such improved microcomb stability is enabled mainly by robust pump power coupling to the micro-cavity utilizing packaged planar-lightwave-circuit mode converters, and faithful locking of the pump frequency detuning via an auxiliary laser heating method. In addition to superior stability, the demonstrated DKS microcomb system also achieves favorable compactness, with all the accessory modules being assembled into a standard 4U case. We hope that our demonstration could prompt the practical utilization of Kerr microcombs in real-world applications.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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