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Physics and Applications of Microresonator Solitons and Electro-optic Frequency Combs


Yi, Xu (2017) Physics and Applications of Microresonator Solitons and Electro-optic Frequency Combs. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z9FT8J22.


Frequency combs are having a broad impact on science and technology because they provide a way to coherently link radio/microwave-rate electrical signals with optical-rate signals derived from lasers and atomic transitions. A new, miniature realization, the microcomb, that uses chip-based microresonators can potentially revolutionize instrumentation, time keeping, spectroscopy, and navigation. Microcombs were first demonstrated using a form of cascaded four-wave mixing. However, the recent discovery of dissipative soliton microcombs enables phase-locked spectra with reproducible envelopes, as required in many frequency comb applications. In addition, these solitons are confined in a high-Q microresonator, thereby creating a rich landscape for research in nonlinear optical phenomena. In this thesis, these solitons are demonstrated for the first time in a silica microcavity. Significantly, the device provides a microwave-detectable soliton repetition rate, which is essential to many comb applications. The unusual properties of the solitons are studied from a theoretical viewpoint using a Lagrangian formalism and predictions of the theory are confirmed experimentally. In the course of this work, a new optical soliton, the Stokes soliton, was also discovered. In addition to soliton mode locking, another novel and compact platform, the electro-optical modulation frequency comb, was studied. This type of frequency comb was used to demonstrate a novel electro-optic form of frequency division for stable microwave synthesis. It was also modified to perform astronomical calibration for exoplanet detection at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:optical microresonator, frequency comb, solitons, microcomb.
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Vahala, Kerry J.
Thesis Committee:
  • Painter, Oskar J. (chair)
  • Faraon, Andrei
  • Beichman, Charles
  • Vahala, Kerry J.
Defense Date:23 May 2017
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05232017-161027761
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for Chapter 3. adapted for Chapter 3. adapted for Chapter 4. adapted for Chapter 5. adapted for Chapter 6. adapted for Chapter 7. adapted for Chapter 9. adapted for Chapter 10.
Yi, Xu0000-0002-2485-1104
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10196
Deposited By: Xu Yi
Deposited On:31 May 2017 21:13
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:16

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