Unconventional nonlinear optical effects in fibre-based gas plasmas

31.10.2012, 14:31

Newsletter 5

Hollow-core photonic crystal fibres (HC-PCFs) have pushed the fields of linear and nonlinear fiber optics well beyond the interaction of light with solid media. Filling HC-PCFs with ionizing noble gases, interesting phenomena have been observed in previous work when ultrashort pulses are launched into these fibres. Investigating the propagation of relatively long pulses at ionizing intensities has led to the prediction of several additional and surprising results. Firstly, a new kind of strongly asymmetric self-phase modulation takes place after a short propagation distance. At longer distances the simulations predict a new kind of "universal" modulational instability that can exist in either the anomalous or the normal dispersion regime and at any frequency. The final destiny of the propagating long pulse is disintegration into a multitude of blue-shifting solitary waves, forming a plasma-induced supercontinuum (see figure). These theoretical predictions highlight the stimulating new possibilities opened up by accessing the ionization regime in HC-PCFs.

 

Contact: fabio.biancalana(at)mpl.mpg(dot)de
Group: Nonlinear Photonic Nanostructures (MPRG)
Reference: M. F. Saleh et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 113902 (2012); Editors' suggestion.