Nonlinear physics in a microresonator filtered fibre laser

Rowley, Maxwell (2021) Nonlinear physics in a microresonator filtered fibre laser. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

The invention of the optical frequency comb (OFC), a type of pulsed laser, has enabled the next leap in precision timing. For this breakthrough, Hall and H¨ansch were awarded the Nobel prize in Physics in 2005. Their work has enabled the development of ultra-precise optical atomic clocks that can provide a fractional frequency precision below 10−18. However, such devices are conventionally laboratory-based table-top systems with high power-consumption. To see this technology transition more broadly to everyday applications, developments must be made to create a more efficient and portable device. The most promising platform for achieving this evolution are microresonators: photonic components which are often integrated within millimetre scale silicon microchips. The microresonator is a ring cavity, which can enable nonlinear processes at very low powers. Specifically, microresonators have been shown to generate OFCs – termed microcombs in this context. This discovery has opened up an exciting field of physics, bringing into the realm of possibility a fully integrated, low-power solution to the practical problem of conventional OFCs.

This thesis contains the results obtained in the Emergent Photonics research lab, where I have been studying a laser architecture comprising a microresonator nested within a fibre laser. Utilising such a scheme, I have studied the dynamic and complex regimes of laser operation which can emerge, towards the aim of developing a robust and portable OFC source.

This thesis is structured as follows. First, the system is described, then results on the various regimes of operation are presented: laser cavity-solitons, a self-sustaining localised laser pulse; Turing patterns, non-localised fields which fill the entire optical cavity; and thermal pulses, single-mode pulses of light which form on the ‘slow’ thermal timescales of the system. Finally, I will present my work on mapping these states within the system and controlling their emergence, along with concluding remarks.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General) > TA1501 Applied optics. Photonics
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering > TK7800 Electronics > TK8300 Photoelectronic devices (General)
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2021 14:32
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2021 14:32
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/97979

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