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Theory and simulations of frequency combs in micro-resonator devices


Department of Physics

About the Project

Frequency combs are spectra consisting of a series of discrete, equally spaced elements and form the modern standard of optical frequencies and clocks. Frequency combs led to the Nobel Prize in Physics to John Hall and Theodor Hänsch in 2005. Micro-resonator-based frequency combs have attracted a lot of attention for their potential applications in quantum technologies, precision metrology, gas sensing, arbitrary optical waveform generation, telecommunication and integrated photonic circuits. Micro-resonator combs are generated in ultra-high-Q optical resonators that enable the confinement of extremely high optical power levels in tiny mode-volumes. The high optical power densities lead to the conversion of a continuous wave laser into a comb of equidistant optical modes that can be used like a ruler for optical frequency measurements. Dr. Pascal Del’Haye at Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPISL) in Erlangen (Germany) has developed and optimised micro-resonator frequency combs based on periodic and soliton like wave-forms of the light circulating in the optical cavity. These are the temporal counterparts of periodic and cavity-soliton solutions discovered and analysed in the CNQO group at Strathclyde for more than ten years first by Prof. Willie J. Firth and then by Prof. Gian-Luca Oppo. In recent years Dr. Del’Haye and Prof. Oppo have already succesfully collaborated on symmetry breaking phenomena in two-polarization and counter-propagating ring-resonators, leading to three joint publications [1]-[3]. This project develops, optimises, and strategically compares accurate mathematical modelling at Strathclyde for the generation of frequency combs in micro-resonator devices in a close connection with the experiments performed at MPISL in Dr. Del’Haye’s laboratory.

The project will run in a close collaboration between Strathclyde and MPISL. The CNQO group at Strathclyde is in a unique and strategic position world-wide being the inventor of the theory and first developer of the simulations associated with cavity-solitons, the key elements of the optimal frequency-comb generation using resonators. Dr. Del’Haye will be the external supervisor of the PhD student who will periodically visit MPISL and compare the results of the simulations and theoretical models with the experimental data.

There is an extraordinary international interest in the development and application of compact and versatile devices for frequency combs. The project is expected to generate research publications in top impact journals, development of key applications in quantum technologies, international patents and new industrial collaborations.

[1] “Universal symmetry-breaking dynamics for the Kerr interaction of counterpropagating light in dielectric ring resonators”, M. T. M. Woodley, J. M. Silver, L. Hill, F. Copie, L. Del Bino, S. Zhang, G.-L. Oppo, and P. Del’Haye, Physical Review A 98, 053863 (2018)

[2] “Effects of self- and cross-phase modulation on the spontaneous symmetry breaking of light in ring resonator”, L. Hill, G.-L. Oppo, M. T. M. Woodley, and P. Del’Haye, Physical Review A 101, 013823 (2020)

[3] “Self-switching of Kerr oscillations of counter-propagating light in ring resonators”, M. T. M. Woodley, L. Hill, L. Del Bino, G.-L. Oppo, and P. Del’Haye, submitted to Pjhyscial Review Letters (2020)

Funding Notes

The project has been funded through a collaboration between the Department of Physics at the University of Strathclyde and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPISL) in Erlangen (Germany).

References

[1] “Universal symmetry-breaking dynamics for the Kerr interaction of counterpropagating light in dielectric ring resonators”, M. T. M. Woodley, J. M. Silver, L. Hill, F. Copie, L. Del Bino, S. Zhang, G.-L. Oppo, and P. Del’Haye, Physical Review A 98, 053863 (2018)

[2] “Effects of self- and cross-phase modulation on the spontaneous symmetry breaking of light in ring resonator”, L. Hill, G.-L. Oppo, M. T. M. Woodley, and P. Del’Haye, Physical Review A 101, 013823 (2020)

[3] “Self-switching of Kerr oscillations of counter-propagating light in ring resonators”, M. T. M. Woodley, L. Hill, L. Del Bino, G.-L. Oppo, and P. Del’Haye, submitted to Pjhyscial Review Letters (2020)

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