PHz-wide Supercontinua of Nondispersing Subcycle Pulses Generated by Extreme Modulational Instability

Francesco Tani, J. C. Travers, Philip St. J. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Modulational instability (MI) of 500 fs, 5 uJ pulses, propagating in gas-filled hollow-core kagome photonic crystal fiber, is studied numerically and experimentally. By tuning the pressure and launched energy, we control the duration of the pulses emerging as a consequence of MI and hence are able to study two regimes: the classical MI case leading to few-cycle solitons of the nonlinear Schrodinger equation; and an extreme case leading to the formation of nondispersing subcycle pulses (0.5 to 2 fs) with peak intensities of order 10 to the power of 14 W cm-2. Insight into the two regimes is obtained using a novel statistical analysis of the soliton parameters. Numerical simulations and experimental measurements show that, when a train of these pulses is generated, strong ionization of the gas occurs. This extreme MI is used to experimentally generate a high energy (>1 uJ) and spectrally broad supercontinuum extending from the deep ultraviolet (320 nm) to the infrared (1300 nm).
Original languageEnglish
Article number033902
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'PHz-wide Supercontinua of Nondispersing Subcycle Pulses Generated by Extreme Modulational Instability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this