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Route from single-pulse to multi-pulse states in a mid-infrared soliton fiber laser

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Huang,  Jiapeng
Russell Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Pang,  Meng
Russell Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

Jiang,  Xin
Russell Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

He,  Wenbin
Russell Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Russell,  Philip
Russell Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;
Department of Physics, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg;

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Citation

Huang, J., Pang, M., Jiang, X., He, W., & Russell, P. (2019). Route from single-pulse to multi-pulse states in a mid-infrared soliton fiber laser. Optics Express, 27(19), 26392-26404. doi:10.1364/OE.27.026392.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-AC97-0
Abstract
State-of-the-art ultrafast mid-IR fiber lasers deliver optical solitons with durations of several hundred femtoseconds. The Er- or Ho-doped fluoride gain fibers generally used in these lasers have strong anomalous dispersion at ∼3 µm, which generally forces them to operate in the soliton regime. Here we report that a pulse-energy clamping effect, caused by the buildup of intracavity nonlinearities, limits the shortest obtainable pulse durations in these mid-infrared soliton fiber lasers. Excessive intra-cavity energy results in soliton instability, collapse and fragmentation into a variety of stable multi-pulse states, including phase-locked soliton molecules and harmonically mode-locked states. We report that the spectral evolution of the mid-IR laser pulses can be recorded between roundtrips through stretching their second-harmonic signal in a 25-km-length of single-mode fiber. Using a modified dispersive Fourier transform set-up, we were able to perform for the first time spectro-temporal measurements of mid-IR laser pulses both in the pulsed state and during pulse collapse and fragmentation. The results provide insight into the complex nonlinear dynamics of mid-IR soliton fiber lasers and open up new opportunities for obtaining a variety of stable multi-pulse mode-locked states at mid-IR wavelengths.