Real-time measurements of dissipative solitons in a mode-locked fiber laser
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Scientific
|Publication status||Published - 26 Jun 2017|
|Publication type||B1 Article in a scientific magazine|
Dissipative solitons are remarkable localized states of a physical system that arise from the dynamical balance between nonlinearity, dispersion and environmental energy exchange. They are the most universal form of soliton that can exist in nature, and are seen in far-from-equilibrium systems in many fields including chemistry, biology, and physics. There has been particular interest in studying their properties in mode-locked lasers producing ultrashort light pulses, but experiments have been limited by the lack of convenient measurement techniques able to track the soliton evolution in real-time. Here, we use dispersive Fourier transform and time lens measurements to simultaneously measure real-time spectral and temporal evolution of dissipative solitons in a fiber laser as the turn-on dynamics pass through a transient unstable regime with complex break-up and collision dynamics before stabilizing to a regular mode-locked pulse train. Our measurements enable reconstruction of the soliton amplitude and phase and calculation of the corresponding complex-valued eigenvalue spectrum to provide further physical insight. These findings are significant in showing how real-time measurements can provide new perspectives into the ultrafast transient dynamics of complex systems.