Intracavity incoherent supercontinuum dynamics and rogue waves in a broadband dissipative soliton laser

Fanchao Meng, Coraline Lapre, Cyril Billet, Thibaut Sylvestre, Jean-Marc Merolla, Christophe Finot, Sergei K. Turitsyn, Goëry Genty, John M. Dudley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding dynamical complexity is one of the most important challenges in science. Significant progress has recently been made in optics through the study of dissipative soliton laser systems, where dynamics are governed by a complex balance between nonlinearity, dispersion, and energy exchange. A particularly complex regime of such systems is associated with noise-like pulse multiscale instabilities, where sub-picosecond pulses with random characteristics evolve chaotically underneath a much longer envelope. However, although observed for decades in experiments, the physics of this regime remains poorly understood, especially for highly-nonlinear cavities generating broadband spectra. Here, we address this question directly with a combined numerical and experimental study that reveals the physical origin of instability as nonlinear soliton dynamics and supercontinuum turbulence. Real-time characterisation reveals intracavity extreme events satisfying statistical rogue wave criteria, and both real-time and time-averaged measurements are in quantitative agreement with modelling.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5567
Number of pages12
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2021. Open Access - This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit

Funding: F.M., C.L., C.B., T.S., J.M.M. and J.M.D. acknowledge support from the French Investissements d’Avenir programme, project ISITE-BFC (contract ANR-15-IDEX-0003) and project EUR (ANR-17-EURE-0002). G.G. acknowledges support from the Academy of Finland (Grants 318082, 333949, Flagship PREIN 320165). J.M.D. and C.F. also acknowledge project ANR-20-CE30-0004. S.K.T. acknowledges the support of the Russian Science Foundation (grant number 17-72-30006).


  • Nonlinear optics
  • Solitons
  • Supercontinuum generation


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