Abstract

We show that optical solitons can be obtained with a one-dimensional optomechanical array that consists of a chain of periodically spaced identical optomechanical systems. Unlike conventional optical solitons, which originate from nonlinear polarization, the optical soliton here stems from a new mechanism, namely, phonon–photon interaction. Under proper conditions, the phonon–photon induced nonlinearity that refers to the optomechanical nonlinearity will exactly compensate the dispersion caused by photon hopping of adjacent optomechanical systems. Moreover, the solitons are capable of exhibiting very low group velocity, depending on the photon hopping rate, which may lead to many important applications, including all-optical switches and on-chip optical architecture. This work may extend the range of optomechanics and nonlinear optics and provide a new field to study soliton theory and develop corresponding applications.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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