Effects of self- and cross-phase modulation on the spontaneous symmetry breaking of light in ring resonators

Lewis Hill, Gian-Luca Oppo, Michael T. M. Woodley, Pascal Del'Haye

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Spontaneous symmetry breaking can occur in the powers of two optical modes coupled into a ring resonator, described by a pair of coupled Lorentzian equations, and featuring tunable self- and cross-phase modulation terms. Investigated is a wide variety of nonlinear materials by changing the ratio of the self- and cross-phase interaction coefficients. Static and dynamic effects range from the number and stability of stationary states to the onset and nature of oscillations. Minimal conditions to observe symmetry breaking are provided in terms of the ratio of the self- and cross-phase coefficients, detuning, and input power. Different ratios of the nonlinear coefficients also influence the dynamical regime, where they can induce or suppress bifurcations and oscillations. A generalized description on this kind is useful for the development of all-optical components, such as isolators and oscillators, constructed from a wide variety of optical media in ring resonators.
Original languageEnglish
Article number013823
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2020


  • ring resonators
  • nonlinear optical system
  • stability analysis

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