Soliton dynamics in the multiphoton plasma regime

Husko, Chad A.; Combrie, Sylvain; Colman, Pierre; Zheng, Jiangjun; De Rossi, Alfredo; Wong, Chee Wei

Solitary waves have consistently captured the imagination of scientists, ranging from fundamental breakthroughs in spectroscopy and metrology enabled by supercontinuum light, to gap solitons for dispersionless slow-light, and discrete spatial solitons in lattices, amongst others. Recent progress in strong-field atomic physics include impressive demonstrations of attosecond pulses and high-harmonic generation via photoionization of free-electrons in gases at extreme intensities of 1014 W/cm2. Here we report the first phase-resolved observations of femtosecond optical solitons in a semiconductor microchip, with multiphoton ionization at picojoule energies and 1010 W/cm2 intensities. The dramatic nonlinearity leads to picojoule observations of free-electron-induced blue-shift at 1016 cm−3 carrier densities and self-chirped femtosecond soliton acceleration. Furthermore, we evidence the time-gated dynamics of soliton splitting on-chip, and the suppression of soliton recurrence due to fast free-electron dynamics. These observations in the highly dispersive slow-light media reveal a rich set of physics governing ultralow-power nonlinear photon-plasma dynamics.


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Scientific Reports

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Academic Units
Mechanical Engineering
Published Here
July 11, 2013