Spatiotemporal mode-locking in multimode fiber lasers
L.G. Wright, D.N. Christodoulides, and F.W. Wise (2017) “Spatiotemporal mode-locking in multimode fiber lasers,” Science 358 (6359), 94-97.
Unlike a conventional single-mode, ‘one-dimensional’ laser, the frequencies of a multimode, multidimensional laser are ordinarily very complicated (figure below, top left, where different colors correspond to different spatial modes). However, we showed that, for a properly designed laser (bottom), the laser’s frequencies would adjust automatically into an organized, synchronized pattern (figure top right), corresponding to the emission of a 3D, multimode laser pulse at regular intervals. Pulses from this laser might eventually allow very sophisticated light-matter interactions, especially with complex molecules (different modes of the laser may interact with different ‘modes’, specific transitions, of molecules or other matter). We have some moderately crazy ideas to realize PW or even EW (exawatt) lasers with this approach.
Spatiotemporal dynamics of multimode optical solitons
L. G. Wright, W. H. Renninger, D. N. Christodoulides, and F. W. Wise. “Spatiotemporal dynamics of multimode optical solitons”. Opt. Express 22, 3492-3506 (2015).
We launch pulses into multimode fiber, exciting multiple spatial modes. We show how nonlinear interactions between the modes give rise to a multimode soliton. A multimode soliton is a non-dispersing wavepacket that contains several distinct spatial mode components, and propagates through the fiber without changing its shape due to a balance between nonlinear and linear effects. We observe spatiotemporal soliton fission – the disintegration of an optical pulse into distinct multimode soliton components with different spatiotemporal properties. Lastly, we observe the effect of stimulated Raman scattering on multimode solitons. This causes them to shift to longer wavelengths, while maintaining their multimode soliton characteristics.
Multimode fiber acts as an intermediate-dimensional system. As the size of the fiber becomes infinite, optical dynamics are (3+1)-D (space+time). Meanwhile, as the fiber becomes small it becomes single mode, so that optical dynamics can be described using only (1+1) dimensions. Analytically, stable spatiotemporal solitons are expected for some region (blue) between 1 and 3 spatial dimensions. It is in this regime that multimode solitons are expected.
Ultrabroadband Dispersive Radiation by Spatiotemporal Oscillation of Multimode Waves
L. G. Wright, S. Wabnitz, D. N. Christodoulides, F. W. Wise “Ultrabroadband Dispersive Radiation by Spatiotemporal Oscillation of Multimode Waves ” Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 223902 (2015).
We show that intense pulses in multimode fiber oscillate in space and time, and that this creates resonant radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum. This work provides a route to tunable sources of ultrashort pulses from IR to ultraviolet and beyond. Dreaming, this work could lead to a fiber-format alternative to the free-electron laser.
The resonant dispersive radiation is diffracted off a grating onto a piece of white paper.