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.
We experimentally and theoretically investigate the dynamics of microresonator-based frequency comb generation assisted by mode coupling in the normal group-velocity dispersion (GVD) regime. We show that mode coupling can initiate intracavity modulation instability (MI) by directly perturbing the pump-resonance mode. We also observe the formation of a low-noise comb as the pump frequency is tuned further into resonance from the MI point. We determine the phase-matching conditions that accurately predict all the essential features of the MI and comb spectra, and extend the existing analogy between mode coupling and high-order dispersion to the normal GVD regime. We discuss the applicability of our analysis to the possibility of broadband comb generation in the normal GVD regime.