Using light, living cells can be manipulated to form several centimeter long waveguide structures, capable of guiding light through scattering media. Here, we will discuss some results of self-trapping and guiding of light in biological suspensions of different cells, including cyanobacteria, E. coli, and red blood cells. A forward-scattering theoretical model is developed which helps understand the experimental observations. Formed waveguides can provide effective guidance for weaker light through scattered bio-soft-matter. The ability to transmit light through turbid fluids with low loss could open up the possibilities for deep-tissue imaging, as well as noninvasive treatment and diagnostics.
We report on the experimental realization of optical frequency comb (OFC) generation in a doubly-resonant cavity second harmonic generation (SHG) system. OFCs continue to attract significant interest, offering a wealth of potential applications beyond frequency metrology. Continuously-driven Kerr microresonators, whose nonlinear response is dominated by the third-order nonlinearity, have proven to be viable alternatives to comb sources based on femtosecond mode-locked lasers. Recently, OFCs have also been directly generated through second-order nonlinear interactions in cw-pumped resonators namely, a singly-resonant cavity SHG system and a nearly-degenerate optical parametric oscillator. Theoretical studies have also predicted OFCs in doubly-resonant cavity SHG systems with a much lower threshold with respect to the singly-resonant configurations. Here we report on the first observations of OFCs in such a doubly-resonant system. The experiment is based on a periodically poled lithium niobate crystal, placed in a traveling-wave optical cavity, pumped by a cw Nd:YAG laser emitting 0.5 W at 1064 nm. The cavity is resonant for frequencies around both the fundamental pump and its second harmonic at 532 nm, and an intracavity adjustable silica window is used to separately set the detunings of the pump and its second harmonic. Stable cavity locking to the pump laser is achieved via the Pound-Drever-Hall offset locking technique, thanks to a counterpropagating orthogonally polarized auxiliary beam. We measured a power threshold for comb formation as low as 5 mW, reduced by more than one order of magnitude with respect to singly-resonant configurations. The locking system permitted to explore frequency detunings up to several cavity linewidths, and to correspondingly observe a large variety of comb regimes, with different teeth spacing and spectral span, as well as the contribution of photothermal effect to the whole dynamics. In this regard, we developed an extended theoretical model that includes thermo-optical nonlinearities.
We demonstrate optical frequency comb generation in a continuously pumped optical parametric oscillator, in the parametric region around half of the pump frequency. We also model the dynamics of such quadratic combs using a single time-domain mean-field equation, and obtain simulation results that are in good agreement with experimentally observed spectra. Moreover, we numerically investigate the coherence properties of simulated combs, showing the existence of correlated and phase-locked combs. Our work could pave the way for a new class of frequency comb sources, which may enable straightforward access to new spectral regions and stimulate novel applications of frequency combs.
We discuss recent advances in the modelling of optical frequency comb generation in quadratic and cubic microresonators.
Different time domain models are presented and compared, and their solutions are analysed by
Optical frequency combs currently represent enabling components in a wide number of fast-growing research fields, from frequency metrology to precision spectroscopy, from synchronization of telecommunication systems to environmental and biomedical spectrometry. As recently demonstrated, quadratic nonlinear media are a promising platform for optical frequency combs generation, through the onset of an internally pumped optical parametric oscillator in cavity enhanced second-harmonic generation systems. We present here a proposal for quadratic frequency comb generation in AlGaAs waveguide resonators. Based on the crystal symmetry properties of the AlGaAs material, quasi-phase matching can be realized in curved geometries (directional quasi-phase matching), thus ensuring efficient optical frequency conversion. We propose a novel design of AlGaAs waveguide resonators with strongly reduced total losses, compatible with long-path, high-quality resonators. By means of a numerical study, we predict efficient frequency comb generation with threshold powers in the microwatt range, paving the way for the full integration of frequency comb synthesizers in photonic circuits.
Various aspects of the nonlinear dynamics of Kerr frequency comb generation in optical microresonators are considered. It is shown that the comb generation process can, for the case of a single continuous wave pump, be given a simple interpretation in terms of modulational instability and that the essential dynamics can be captured using a three wave mode truncation for the pump mode and the dominant sideband pair. This idea is also extended using a four wave model to analyze an alternative dual pump configuration, for which comb generation may occur without a pump intensity threshold in both the normal and the anomalous dispersion regime.