Unidirectional, dual-comb lasing under multiple pulse formation mechanisms in a passively mode-locked fiber ring laser
Physics - Instrumentation and Detectors | Physics - Optics
Dual-comb lasers from which asynchronous ultrashort pulses can be simultaneously generated have recently become an interesting research subject. They could be an intriguing alternative to the current dual-laser optical-frequency-comb source with highly sophisticated electronic control systems. If generated through a common light path traveled by all pulses, the common-mode noises between the spectral lines of different pulse trains could be significantly reduced. Therefore, coherent dual-comb generation from a completely common-path, unidirectional lasing cavity would be an interesting territory to explore. In this paper, we demonstrate such a dual-comb lasing scheme based on a nanomaterial saturable absorber with additional pulse narrowing and broadening mechanisms concurrently introduced into a mode-locked fiber laser. The interactions between multiple soliton formation mechanisms result in unusual bifurcation into two-pulse states with quite different characteristics. Simultaneous oscillation of pulses with four-fold difference in pulsewidths and tens of Hz repetition rate difference is observed. The coherence between these spectral-overlapped, picosecond and femtosecond pulses is further verified by the corresponding asynchronous cross-sampling and dual-comb spectroscopy measurements.