arXiv.svg (5.58 kB)
Soliton generation in CaF$_2$ crystalline whispering gallery mode resonators with negative thermal-optical effects
preprintposted on 2023-06-07, 16:03 authored by Mingfei Qu, Chenhong Li, Kangqi Liu, Weihang Zhu, Yuan Wei, Pengfei Wang, Songbai Kang
Calcium fluoride (CaF$_2$) crystalline whispering gallery mode resonators (WGMRs) exhibit ultrahigh intrinsic quality factors and a low power anomalous dispersion in the communication and mid-infrared bands, making them attractive platforms for microresonator-based comb generation. However, their unique negative thermo-optic effects pose challenges when achieving thermal equilibrium. To our knowledge, our experiments serve as the first demonstration of soliton microcombs in Q > 109 CaF$_2$ WGMRs. We observed soliton mode-locking and bidirectional switching of soliton numbers caused by the negative thermo-optic effects. Additionally, various soliton formation dynamics are shown, including breathing and vibrational solitons, which can be attributed to thermo-photomechanical oscillations. Thus, our results enrich the soliton generation platform and provide a reference for generating solitons from WGMRs that comprise other materials with negative thermo-optic effects. In the future, the ultrahigh quality factor of CaF$_2$ crystal cavities may enable the generation of sub-milliwatt-level broad-spectrum soliton combs.