Counterpropagating light in ring resonators: switching fronts, plateaus, and oscillations

Graeme N. Campbell, Zhang Shuangyou, Leonardo Del Bino, Pascal Del’Haye, Gian-Luca Oppo

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We characterize the formation of robust stationary states formed by light plateaus separated by two local switching fronts in only one of two counterpropagating fields in ring resonators with normal dispersion. Such states are due to global cross coupling and allow for frequency combs to switch from one field to the other by simply tuning the input laser frequency. Exact expressions for the distance between fronts and for plateau powers are provided in excellent agreement with simulations. These demonstrate an unusual high degree of control over pulse and plateau duration in one of the fields upon changes of one of the input laser frequencies. We identify a wide parameter region in which light plateaus are self-starting and are the only stable solution. For certain values of the detunings we find multistable states of plateaus with switching fronts, slowly oscillating homogeneous states and nonoscillating homogeneous states of the counterpropagating fields. Robustness and multistability of these unusual single-field front solutions are provided in parameter ranges that are experimentally achievable in a wide variety of ring resonators.
Original languageEnglish
Article number043507
Number of pages16
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2022


  • Kerr effect
  • optical solitons
  • nonlinear optics


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