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Discovery of Soliton Self-Mode Conversion in Multimode Optical Fibers

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posted on 2023-11-30, 05:43 authored by Lars Rishøj, Boyin Tai, Poul Kristensen, Siddharth Ramachandran
Nonlinear optical wave propagation manifests in a multitude of frequencies generated from quantum-noise, and selecting desired nonlinear products usually requires seeding the medium with extraneous waves, employing spatial or spectral filters, or operation in resonant cavities. This is especially true for multimode systems because of their high density of states. Here we report the discovery of a self-action effect, originating from quantum noise, leading to complete nonlinear optical conversion of an ultrashort soliton pulse between two distinct, spatially coherent eigenmodes that are frequency-separated by one Raman Stokes shift. That systematic nonlinear spatial reconfiguration occurs in fibers with mode counts exceeding 10,000, which are often deemed to be chaotic, points to the fundamental role of intermodal group velocity dispersion in the selection rules for multimode nonlinear optics. We demonstrate wideband spectral translations of ~70% of the carrier frequency, and the generation of record, Megawatt peak-power pulses in the biologically crucial 1300-nm spectral window, directly out of a flexible optical fiber. More generally, this novel nonlinear coupling mechanism may be applied to fibers or on-chip waveguides, and facilitate, power-scalable spatially coherent, ultrashort pulse generation from the visible to the mid-IR.

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