Abstract

We experimentally demonstrate the use of a bulk-structured Bi2Te3 topological insulator (TI) as an ultrafast mode-locker to generate femtosecond pulses from an all-fiberized cavity. Using a saturable absorber based on a mechanically exfoliated layer about 15 μm thick deposited onto a side-polished fiber, we show that stable soliton pulses with a temporal width of ~600 fs can readily be produced at 1547 nm from an erbium fiber ring cavity. Unlike previous TI-based mode-locked laser demonstrations, in which high-quality nanosheet-based TIs were used for saturable absorption, we chose to use a bulk-structured Bi2Te3 layer because it is easy to fabricate. We found that the bulk-structured Bi2Te3 layer can readily provide sufficient nonlinear saturable absorption for femtosecond mode-locking even if its modulation depth of ~15.7% is much lower than previously demonstrated nanosheet-structured TI-based saturable absorbers. This experimental demonstration indicates that high-crystalline-quality atomic-layered films of TI, which demand complicated and expensive material processing facilities, are not essential for ultrafast laser mode-locking applications.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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2014

2013

M. Jung, J. Koo, J. Park, Y.-W. Song, Y. M. Jhon, K. Lee, S. Lee, J. H. Lee, “Mode-locked pulse generation from an all-fiberized, Tm-Ho-codoped fiber laser incorporating a graphene oxide-deposited side-polished fiber,” Opt. Express 21(17), 20062–20072 (2013).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Lee, J. Koo, P. Debnath, Y.-W. Song, J. H. Lee, “A Q-switched, mode-locked fiber laser using a graphene oxide-based polarization sensitive saturable absorber,” Laser Phys. Lett. 10(3), 035103 (2013).
[CrossRef]

Y. Chen, C. Zhao, H. Huang, S. Chen, P. Tang, Z. Wang, S. Lu, H. Zhang, S. Wen, D. Tang, “Self-assembled topological insulator: Bi2Se3 membrane as a passive Q-switcher in an erbium-doped fiber laser,” J. Lightwave Technol. 31(17), 2857–2863 (2013).
[CrossRef]

H. Yu, H. Zhang, Y. Wang, C. Zhao, B. Wang, S. Wen, H. Zhang, J. Wang, “Topological insulator as an optical modulator for pulsed solid-state lasers,” Laser Photon. Rev. 7(6), L77–L83 (2013).
[CrossRef]

P. Tang, X. Zhang, C. Zhao, Y. Wang, H. Zhang, D. Shen, S. Wen, D. Tang, D. Fan, “Topological insulator: Bi2Te3 saturable absorber for the passive Q-switching operation of an in-band pumped 1645-nm Er:YAG Ceramic laser,” IEEE Photon. J. 5(2), 1500707 (2013).
[CrossRef]

Z. Luo, Y. Huang, J. Weng, H. Cheng, Z. Lin, B. Xu, Z. Cai, H. Xu, “1.06μm Q-switched ytterbium-doped fiber laser using few-layer topological insulator Bi2Se3 as a saturable absorber,” Opt. Express 21(24), 29516–29522 (2013).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2012

C. Zhao, H. Zhang, X. Qi, Y. Chen, Z. Wang, S. Wen, D. Tang, “Ultra-short pulse generation by a topological insulator based saturable absorber,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 101(21), 211106 (2012).
[CrossRef]

C. Zhao, Y. Zou, Y. Chen, Z. Wang, S. Lu, H. Zhang, S. Wen, D. Tang, “Wavelength-tunable picosecond soliton fiber laser with topological insulator: Bi2Se3 as a mode locker,” Opt. Express 20(25), 27888–27895 (2012).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

L. Ren, X. Qi, Y. Liu, G. Hao, Z. Huang, X. Zou, L. Yang, J. Li, J. Zhong, “Large-scale production of ultrathin topological insulator bismuth telluride nanosheets by a hydrothermal intercalation and exfoliation route,” J. Mater. Chem. 22(11), 4921–4926 (2012).
[CrossRef]

F. Qu, F. Yang, J. Shen, Y. Ding, J. Chen, Z. Ji, G. Liu, J. Fan, X. Jing, C. Yang, L. Lu, “Strong superconducting proximity effect in pb-bi2te3 hybrid structures,” Sci. Rep. 2, 339 (2012).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

S. Yamashita, “A tutorial on nonlinear photonic applications of carbon nanotube and graphene,” J. Lightwave Technol. 30(4), 427–447 (2012).
[CrossRef]

G. Sobon, J. Sotor, J. Jagiello, R. Kozinski, M. Zdrojek, M. Holdynski, P. Paletko, J. Boguslawski, L. Lipinska, K. M. Abramski, “Graphene oxide vs. reduced graphene oxide as saturable absorbers for Er-doped passively mode-locked fiber laser,” Opt. Express 20(17), 19463–19473 (2012).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Z. Sun, T. Hasan, A. C. Ferrari, “Ultrafast lasers mode-locked by nanotubes and graphene,” Physica E 44(6), 1082–1091 (2012).
[CrossRef]

J. Xu, J. Liu, S. Wu, Q.-H. Yang, P. Wang, “Graphene oxide mode-locked femtosecond erbium-doped fiber lasers,” Opt. Express 20(14), 15474–15480 (2012).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2011

X.-L. Qi, S.-C. Zhang, “Topological insulators and superconductors,” Rev. Mod. Phys. 83(4), 1057–1110 (2011).
[CrossRef]

2010

M. Z. Hasan, C. L. Kane, “Colloquium: topological insulators,” Rev. Mod. Phys. 82(4), 3045–3067 (2010).
[CrossRef]

D. Teweldebrhan, V. Goyal, A. A. Balandin, “Exfoliation and characterization of bismuth telluride atomic quintuples and quasi-two-dimensional crystals,” Nano Lett. 10(4), 1209–1218 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2009

Q. Bao, H. Zhang, Y. Wang, Z. Ni, Y. Yang, Z. X. Shen, K. P. Loh, D. Y. Tang, “Atomic-layer graphene as a saturable absorber for ultrafast pulsed lasers,” Adv. Funct. Mater. 19(19), 3077–3083 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Y. S. Hor, A. Richardella, P. Roushan, Y. Xia, J. G. Checkelsky, A. Yazdani, M. Z. Hasan, N. P. Qng, R. J. Cava, “p-type Bi2Se3 for topological insulator and low-temperature thermoelectric applications,” Phys. Rev. B 79(19), 195208 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Y. L. Chen, J. G. Analytis, J.-H. Chu, Z. K. Liu, S.-K. Mo, X. L. Qi, H. J. Zhang, D. H. Lu, X. Dai, Z. Fang, S. C. Zhang, I. R. Fisher, Z. Hussain, Z.-X. Shen, “Experimental realization of a three-dimensional topological insulator, Bi2Te3.,” Science 325(5937), 178–181 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Y. Xia, D. Qian, D. Hsieh, L. Wray, A. Pal, H. Lin, A. Bansil, D. Grauer, Y. S. Hor, R. J. Cava, M. Z. Hasan, “Observation of a large-gap topological-insulator class with a single Dirac cone on the surface,” Nat. Phys. 5(6), 398–402 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Z. Wang, Y. Chong, J. D. Joannopoulos, M. Soljacić, “Observation of unidirectional backscattering-immune topological electromagnetic states,” Nature 461(7265), 772–775 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2008

H.-J. Noh, H. Koh, S.-J. Oh, J.-H. Park, H.-D. Kim, J. D. Rameau, T. Valla, T. E. Kidd, P. D. Johnson, Y. Hu, Q. Li, “Spin-orbit interaction effect in the electronic structure of Bi2Te3 observed by angle-resolve photoemission spectroscopy,” Europhys. Lett. 81(5), 57006 (2008).
[CrossRef]

X.-L. Qi, T. L. Hughes, S.-C. Zhang, “Topological field theory of time-reversal invariant insulators,” Phys. Rev. B 78(19), 195424 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. Hsieh, D. Qian, L. Wray, Y. Xia, Y. S. Hor, R. J. Cava, M. Z. Hasan, “A topological Dirac insulator in a quantum spin Hall phase,” Nature 452(7190), 970–974 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2007

M. König, S. Wiedmann, C. Brüne, A. Roth, H. Buhmann, L. W. Molenkamp, X.-L. Qi, S.-C. Zhang, “Quantum spin Hall insulator state in HgTe quantum wells,” Science 318(5851), 766–770 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2006

B. A. Bernevig, T. L. Hughes, S.-C. Zhang, “Quantum spin Hall effect and topological phase transition in HgTe quantum wells,” Science 314(5806), 1757–1761 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2005

W. Lu, Y. Ding, Y. Chen, Z. L. Wang, J. Fang, “Bismuth telluride hexagonal nanoplatelets and their two-step epitaxial growth,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127(28), 10112–10116 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2004

P. Cerný, G. Valentine, D. Burns, K. McEwan, “Passive stabilization of a passively mode-locked laser by nonlinear absorption in indium phosphide,” Opt. Lett. 29(12), 1387–1389 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

K. S. Novoselov, A. K. Geim, S. V. Morozov, D. Jiang, Y. Zhang, S. V. Dubonos, I. V. Grigorieva, A. A. Firsov, “Electric field effect in atomically thin carbon films,” Science 306(5696), 666–669 (2004).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2003

1996

U. Keller, K. J. Weingarten, F. X. Kärtner, D. Kopf, B. Braun, I. D. Jung, R. Fluck, C. Hönninger, N. Matuschek, J. Aus der Au, “Semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors (SESAM’s) for femtosecond to nanosecond pulse generation in solid-state lasers,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 2(3), 435–453 (1996).
[CrossRef]

E. A. Vinogradov, “Cavity electrodynamics in polariton spectra of thin films,” Laser Phys. 6(2), 326–333 (1996).

1995

1992

S. M. J. Kelly, “Characteristic sideband instability of periodically amplified average soliton,” Electron. Lett. 28(8), 806–808 (1992).
[CrossRef]

N. J. Smith, K. J. Blow, I. Andonovic, “Sideband generation through perturbations to the average soliton model,” J. Lightwave Technol. 10(10), 1329–1333 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Abramski, K. M.

Agrawal, G. P.

Analytis, J. G.

Y. L. Chen, J. G. Analytis, J.-H. Chu, Z. K. Liu, S.-K. Mo, X. L. Qi, H. J. Zhang, D. H. Lu, X. Dai, Z. Fang, S. C. Zhang, I. R. Fisher, Z. Hussain, Z.-X. Shen, “Experimental realization of a three-dimensional topological insulator, Bi2Te3.,” Science 325(5937), 178–181 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Andonovic, I.

N. J. Smith, K. J. Blow, I. Andonovic, “Sideband generation through perturbations to the average soliton model,” J. Lightwave Technol. 10(10), 1329–1333 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Aus der Au, J.

U. Keller, K. J. Weingarten, F. X. Kärtner, D. Kopf, B. Braun, I. D. Jung, R. Fluck, C. Hönninger, N. Matuschek, J. Aus der Au, “Semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors (SESAM’s) for femtosecond to nanosecond pulse generation in solid-state lasers,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 2(3), 435–453 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Balandin, A. A.

D. Teweldebrhan, V. Goyal, A. A. Balandin, “Exfoliation and characterization of bismuth telluride atomic quintuples and quasi-two-dimensional crystals,” Nano Lett. 10(4), 1209–1218 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Bansil, A.

Y. Xia, D. Qian, D. Hsieh, L. Wray, A. Pal, H. Lin, A. Bansil, D. Grauer, Y. S. Hor, R. J. Cava, M. Z. Hasan, “Observation of a large-gap topological-insulator class with a single Dirac cone on the surface,” Nat. Phys. 5(6), 398–402 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Bao, Q.

Q. Bao, H. Zhang, Y. Wang, Z. Ni, Y. Yang, Z. X. Shen, K. P. Loh, D. Y. Tang, “Atomic-layer graphene as a saturable absorber for ultrafast pulsed lasers,” Adv. Funct. Mater. 19(19), 3077–3083 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Bernevig, B. A.

B. A. Bernevig, T. L. Hughes, S.-C. Zhang, “Quantum spin Hall effect and topological phase transition in HgTe quantum wells,” Science 314(5806), 1757–1761 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Blow, K. J.

N. J. Smith, K. J. Blow, I. Andonovic, “Sideband generation through perturbations to the average soliton model,” J. Lightwave Technol. 10(10), 1329–1333 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Boguslawski, J.

Braun, B.

U. Keller, K. J. Weingarten, F. X. Kärtner, D. Kopf, B. Braun, I. D. Jung, R. Fluck, C. Hönninger, N. Matuschek, J. Aus der Au, “Semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors (SESAM’s) for femtosecond to nanosecond pulse generation in solid-state lasers,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 2(3), 435–453 (1996).
[CrossRef]

Brüne, C.

M. König, S. Wiedmann, C. Brüne, A. Roth, H. Buhmann, L. W. Molenkamp, X.-L. Qi, S.-C. Zhang, “Quantum spin Hall insulator state in HgTe quantum wells,” Science 318(5851), 766–770 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Buhmann, H.

M. König, S. Wiedmann, C. Brüne, A. Roth, H. Buhmann, L. W. Molenkamp, X.-L. Qi, S.-C. Zhang, “Quantum spin Hall insulator state in HgTe quantum wells,” Science 318(5851), 766–770 (2007).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Burns, D.

Cai, Z.

Cava, R. J.

Y. S. Hor, A. Richardella, P. Roushan, Y. Xia, J. G. Checkelsky, A. Yazdani, M. Z. Hasan, N. P. Qng, R. J. Cava, “p-type Bi2Se3 for topological insulator and low-temperature thermoelectric applications,” Phys. Rev. B 79(19), 195208 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Y. Xia, D. Qian, D. Hsieh, L. Wray, A. Pal, H. Lin, A. Bansil, D. Grauer, Y. S. Hor, R. J. Cava, M. Z. Hasan, “Observation of a large-gap topological-insulator class with a single Dirac cone on the surface,” Nat. Phys. 5(6), 398–402 (2009).
[CrossRef]

D. Hsieh, D. Qian, L. Wray, Y. Xia, Y. S. Hor, R. J. Cava, M. Z. Hasan, “A topological Dirac insulator in a quantum spin Hall phase,” Nature 452(7190), 970–974 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cerný, P.

Checkelsky, J. G.

Y. S. Hor, A. Richardella, P. Roushan, Y. Xia, J. G. Checkelsky, A. Yazdani, M. Z. Hasan, N. P. Qng, R. J. Cava, “p-type Bi2Se3 for topological insulator and low-temperature thermoelectric applications,” Phys. Rev. B 79(19), 195208 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Chen, J.

F. Qu, F. Yang, J. Shen, Y. Ding, J. Chen, Z. Ji, G. Liu, J. Fan, X. Jing, C. Yang, L. Lu, “Strong superconducting proximity effect in pb-bi2te3 hybrid structures,” Sci. Rep. 2, 339 (2012).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Chen, S.

Chen, Y.

Y. Chen, C. Zhao, H. Huang, S. Chen, P. Tang, Z. Wang, S. Lu, H. Zhang, S. Wen, D. Tang, “Self-assembled topological insulator: Bi2Se3 membrane as a passive Q-switcher in an erbium-doped fiber laser,” J. Lightwave Technol. 31(17), 2857–2863 (2013).
[CrossRef]

C. Zhao, H. Zhang, X. Qi, Y. Chen, Z. Wang, S. Wen, D. Tang, “Ultra-short pulse generation by a topological insulator based saturable absorber,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 101(21), 211106 (2012).
[CrossRef]

C. Zhao, Y. Zou, Y. Chen, Z. Wang, S. Lu, H. Zhang, S. Wen, D. Tang, “Wavelength-tunable picosecond soliton fiber laser with topological insulator: Bi2Se3 as a mode locker,” Opt. Express 20(25), 27888–27895 (2012).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

W. Lu, Y. Ding, Y. Chen, Z. L. Wang, J. Fang, “Bismuth telluride hexagonal nanoplatelets and their two-step epitaxial growth,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127(28), 10112–10116 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

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Figures (5)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

(a) Schematic of the Bi2Te3 side-polished fiber. Inset: A SEM image of the Bi2Te3 layer surface. (b) Bi2Te3 layer depth measurement result using an alpha step profiler. (c) Measured Raman spectrum.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

(a) Measured XRD pattern. (b) Measured nonlinear saturable absorption curve of the Bi2Te3 side-polished fiber.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

(a) The laser schematic. (b) Measured oscilloscope trace of the output pulses.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

(a) Measured optical spectrum of the output pulses. (b) Theoretically calculated Kelly sideband position relative to the center wavelength (Δλ) as a function of the temporal width of transform-limited pulses (TFWHM) for various Kelly sideband orders (m).

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

(a) Autocorrelation trace measurement and (b) electrical spectrum of the output pulses. Inset: Measured electrical spectrum over a wide frequency span.

Equations (3)

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T ( I ) = 1 Δ T exp ( I I s a t ) T n s
E p 2 > E L , s a t E A , s a t Δ m
Δ λ = 2 ln ( 1 + 2 ) λ 2 2 π c T F W H M 4 m π L | β 2 | ( T F W H M 2 ln ( 1 + 2 ) ) 2 1

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