Abstract

We theoretically and experimentally investigate the chaotic regime of optical frequency combs generated in nonlinear ring microresonators pumped with continuous wave light. We show that the chaotic regime reveals itself by a flat top symmetric envelope of the frequency spectrum, when observed by means of an optical spectrum analyzer. The comb, demodulated on a fast photodiode, produces a noisy radio frequency signal with spectral width significantly exceeding the linear bandwidth of the microresonator mode. We discuss practical ways of excitation of a coherent frequency comb and avoiding the chaotic regime.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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