Abstract

Supercontinuum generation (SCG) is most efficient when the solitons can be excited directly at the pump laser wavelength. Quadratic nonlinear waveguides may induce an effective negative Kerr nonlinearity, so temporal solitons can be directly generated in the normal (positive) dispersion regime overlapping with common ultrafast laser wavelengths. There is no need for waveguide dispersion engineering. Here, we experimentally demonstrate SCG in standard lithium niobate (LN) waveguides without quasi-phase matching (QPM), pumped with femtosecond pulses in the normal dispersion regime. The observed large bandwidths (even octave spanning), together with other experimental data, indicate that negative nonlinearity solitons are indeed excited, which is backed up by numerical simulations. The QPM-free design reduces production complexity, extends the maximum waveguide length, and limits undesired spectral resonances. Finally, nonlinear crystals can be used where QPM is inefficient or impossible, which is important for mid-IR SCG. QPM-free waveguides in mid-IR nonlinear crystals can support negative nonlinearity solitons, as these waveguides have a normal dispersion at the emission wavelengths of mid-IR ultrafast lasers.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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