Abstract

Dark soliton formation in mode-locked lasers is investigated by means of a power–energy saturation model that incorporates gain and filtering saturated with energy, and loss saturated with power. It is found that general initial conditions evolve (mode-lock) into dark solitons under appropriate requirements also met in experimental observations. The resulting pulses are essentially dark solitons of the unperturbed nonlinear Schrödinger equation. Notably, the same framework also describes bright pulses in anomalous and normally dispersive lasers.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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