Studies on the decay and recovery of higher-order solitons, initiated by localized channel perturbations

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Lee, Kwan-Seop
Buck, John A.
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The decay of higher order solitons in optical fiber, initiated by localized channel perturbations such as a step change in dispersion, a localized loss element, or a bandpass filter, is explored theoretically and experimentally as a means of generating pairs of pulses having wavelengths that are up and down-shifted from the input wavelength. The achievable wavelength separation between the two sub pulses increases with increasing the amount of perturbations. Pulse parameter requirements for achieving useful wavelength shifts while avoiding unwanted nonlinear effects are presented. Experimental studies for N=2 solitons having 1 ps initial width are performed to demonstrate tunable wavelength conversion using a step change in dispersion and using a loss element. Wavelength shifts are tunable by varying the magnitude of a dispersion step or loss element that is used to disrupt the soliton cycle. Competing nonlinear effects, such as cubic dispersion, self-steepening, and stimulated Raman scattering, can be minimized by using input pulsewidths of one picosecond or greater. The separated pulses at two wavelengths can in principle be amplified to form separate higher order solitons. The process repeated to produce multiple wavelength replicas of an input data stream, and may thus be of possible use in multi-casting applications in fiber communication systems. The possibility of soliton recovery is also studied. For soliton recovery, conditions are stringent, in that the precise temporal overlap and phase relationship between sub-pulses that occurred at the point of separation is in principle needed at the reverse perturbation location. Experimental studies on soliton recovery for an N=2 soliton is performed by using a dispersion-compensated intermediate link, and reversing the dispersion step. Detrimental effects on soliton recovery are studied.
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