Temporal cavity solitons: from optical buffers to microresonator frequency combs

Temporal cavity solitons are pulses of light persisting in continuously driven nonlinear resonators. They maintain their shape and do not dissipate, thanks to nonlinear interactions with the resonator medium and the coherent field driving the cavity. They were first observed in 2010 in a macroscopic optical fibre cavity and, owing to their unique characteristics, proposed as ideal candidates for bits in all-optical buffers. More recently, temporal cavity solitons have also been predicted and observed in monolithic microresonators, where they are intimately linked to the formation of broadband “Kerr” frequency combs.  

In this Presentation, we will first introduce the basic dynamics and characteristics of temporal  cavity solitons, and then review recent experimental and theoretical results. In particular, we will present advanced techniques that allow temporal cavity solitons to be created, manipulated and destroyed at will. We will also discuss novel soliton interaction dynamics, including externally-forced collisions, bound states, as well as  the self-organisation of a random soliton sequence into periodically-spaced bunches. Although the Presentation will focus on experiments in macroscopic optical fibre systems, we will also discuss connections to microresonators and Kerr frequency combs.