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Mode-Locked Topological Insulator Laser Utilizing Synthetic Dimensions

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posted on 2023-01-11, 22:28 authored by Zhaoju Yang, Eran Lustig, Gal Harari, Yonatan Plotnik, Miguel A. Bandres, Yaakov Lumer, Mordechai Segev
We propose a system that exploits the fundamental features of topological photonics and synthetic dimensions to force many semiconductor laser resonators to synchronize, mutually lock, and under suitable modulation emit a train of transform-limited mode-locked pulses. These lasers exploit the Floquet topological edge states in a 1D array of ring resonators, which corresponds to a 2D topological system with one spatial dimension and one synthetic frequency dimension. We show that the lasing state of the multi-element laser system possesses the distinct characteristics of spatial topological edge states while exhibiting topologically protected transport. The topological synthetic-space edge mode imposes a constant-phase difference between the multi-frequency modes on the edges, and together with modulation of the individual elements forces the ensemble of resonators to mode-lock and emit short pulses, robust to disorder in the multi-resonator system. Our results offer a proof-of-concept mechanism to actively mode-lock a laser diode array of many lasing elements, which is otherwise extremely difficult due to the presence of many spatial modes of the array. The topological synthetic-space concepts proposed here offer an avenue to overcome this major technological challenge, and open new opportunities in laser physics.



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