We report, to the best of our knowledge, the first demonstration of thermally controlled soliton mode-locked frequency comb generation in microresonators. By controlling the electric current through heaters integrated with silicon nitride microresonators, we demonstrate a systematic and repeatable pathway to single- and multi-soliton mode-locked states without adjusting the pump laser wavelength. Such an approach could greatly simplify the generation of mode-locked frequency combs and facilitate applications such as chip-based dual-comb spectroscopy.
Dual-comb spectroscopy is a powerful technique for real-time, broadband optical sampling of molecular spectra which requires no moving components. Recent developments with microresonator-based platforms have enabled frequency combs at the chip scale. However, the need to precisely match the resonance wavelengths of distinct high-quality-factor microcavities has hindered the development of an on-chip dual comb source. Here, we report the first simultaneous generation of two microresonator combs on the same chip from a single laser. The combs span a broad bandwidth of 51 THz around a wavelength of 1.56 \$\textbackslashmu\$m. We demonstrate low-noise operation of both frequency combs by deterministically tuning into soliton mode-locked states using integrated microheaters, resulting in narrow (\$\textless\$ 10 kHz) microwave beatnotes. We further use one mode-locked comb as a reference to probe the formation dynamics of the other comb, thus introducing a technique to investigate comb evolution without auxiliary lasers or microwave oscillators. We demonstrate broadband high-SNR absorption spectroscopy of dichloromethane spanning 170 nm using the dual comb source over a 20 \$\textbackslashmu\$s acquisition time. Our device paves the way for compact and robust dual-comb spectrometers at nanosecond timescales.
We demonstrate the generation of a supercontinuum spanning more than 1.4 octaves in a silicon nitride waveguide using sub-100-fs pulses at 1µm generated by either a 53-MHz, diode-pumped ytterbium (Yb) fiber laser or a 1-GHz, Yb:CaAlGdO4 (Yb:CALGO) laser. Our numerical simulations show that the broadband supercontinuum is fully coherent, and a spectral interference measurement is used to verify that the supercontinuum generated with the Yb:CALGO laser possesses a high degree of coherence over the majority of its spectral bandwidth. This coherent spectrum may be utilized for optical coherence tomography, spectroscopy, and frequency metrology.