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Frontiers of Optoelectronics

Front. Optoelectron.    2020, Vol. 13 Issue (2) : 139-148
Highly stable and repeatable femtosecond soliton pulse generation from saturable absorbers based on two-dimensional Cu3−xP nanocrystals
Haoran MU1, Zeke LIU2, Xiaozhi BAO3, Zhichen WAN1, Guanyu LIU4(), Xiangping LI4, Huaiyu SHAO3, Guichuan XING3, Babar SHABBIR1, Lei LI5, Tian SUN2, Shaojuan LI2, Wanli MA2, Qiaoliang BAO1()
1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering and ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies (FLEET), Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia
2. Institute of Functional Nano and Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based Functional Materials and Devices, and Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
3. Joint Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education, Institute of Applied Physics and Materials Engineering (IAPME), University of Macau, Macau, China
4. Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Optical Fiber Sensing and Communications, Institute of Photonics Technology, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
5. Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Advanced Laser Materials and Devices, Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Laser Technology and Emerging Industry, School of Physics and Electronic Engineering, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou 221116, China
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Heavily doped colloidal plasmonic nanocrystals have attracted great attention because of their lower and adjustable free carrier densities and tunable localized surface plasmonic resonance bands in the spectral range from near-infra to mid-infra wavelengths. With its plasmon-enhanced optical nonlinearity, this new family of plasmonic materials shows a huge potential for nonlinear optical applications, such as ultrafast switching, nonlinear sensing, and pulse laser generation. Cu3xP nanocrystals were previously shown to have a strong saturable absorption at the plasmonic resonance, which enabled high-energy Q-switched fiber lasers with 6.1 µs pulse duration. This work demonstrates that both high-quality mode-locked and Q-switched pulses at 1560 nm can be generated by evanescently incorporating two-dimensional (2D) Cu3xP nanocrystals onto a D-shaped optical fiber as an effective saturable absorber. The 3 dB bandwidth of the mode-locking optical spectrum is as broad as 7.3 nm, and the corresponding pulse duration can reach 423 fs. The repetition rate of the Q-switching pulses is higher than 80 kHz. Moreover, the largest pulse energy is more than 120 µJ. Note that laser characteristics are highly stable and repeatable based on the results of over 20 devices. This work may trigger further investigations on heavily doped plasmonic 2D nanocrystals as a next-generation, inexpensive, and solution-processed element for fascinating photonics and optoelectronics applications.

Keywords plasmonic semiconductors      fiber laser      mode-locking      ultrafast generation     
Corresponding Author(s): Guanyu LIU,Qiaoliang BAO   
Just Accepted Date: 28 June 2020   Online First Date: 13 July 2020    Issue Date: 21 July 2020
 Cite this article:   
Haoran MU,Zeke LIU,Xiaozhi BAO, et al. Highly stable and repeatable femtosecond soliton pulse generation from saturable absorbers based on two-dimensional Cu3−xP nanocrystals[J]. Front. Optoelectron., 2020, 13(2): 139-148.
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Haoran MU
Zeke LIU
Xiaozhi BAO
Zhichen WAN
Guanyu LIU
Xiangping LI
Huaiyu SHAO
Guichuan XING
Lei LI
Tian SUN
Shaojuan LI
Wanli MA
Qiaoliang BAO
Fig.1  Material morphology and optical characterizations of Cu3xP nanocrystals. (a) SEM image of Cu3xP nanocrystals (scale bar: 100 nm) and TEM image of single Cu3xP NC (inset: 10 nm scale bar). (b) AFM image (scale bar: 1 µm). (c) Optical absorption spectra of Cu3xP nanocrystals in toluene solution (black line) and silicon substrate (blue line). (d) Typical XRD patterns of Cu3xP NCs (i.e., the well-resolved peaks overlapped well with the hexagonal Cu3P structure (space group: P63cm). (e) 1H NMR spectra of TOP (bottom) and Cu3xP NCs (top) dissolved in CDCl3. (f) Schematic diagram of Cu3xP NCs. (g) Optical image of Cu3xP nanocrystal assembly. (h) Corresponding photoluminescence (PL) mapping result (scale bar: 1 µm). (i) PL spectrum of Cu3xP nanocrystal assembly
Fig.2  Nonlinear absorption curves of the evanescently interacted Cu3xP SAs measured by the balanced twin-detector measurement technique. (a) SA with 120 mL Cu3xP solution drop-casted onto a side-polished fiber. (b) SA with 240 mL Cu3xP solution drop-casted onto the side-polished fiber (inset: optical image of the SA device). Scale bar: 100 mm
Fig.3  Typical mode-locking characteristics. (a) Typical mode-locking optical spectrum (inset: zoom-in view of the optical spectrum). (b) Mode-locking pulse train (inset: pulse train over 1 ms). (c) Autocorrelation trace. (d) RF optical spectrum at the fundamental frequency (inset: wideband RF spectrum). (e) Long-term stability of the mode-locked laser by measuring the time-dependent optical spectra for up to 6 h
Fig.4  Q-switched pulse output characteristics. (a) Optical spectrum. (b) Q-switched pulse train. (c) Single Q-switched pulse. (d) Radiofrequency optical spectrum at the fundamental frequency (inset: wideband RF spectrum). (e) Pulse repetition rate and duration versus incident pump power. (f) Output power versus incident pump power
Fig.5  Statistical distribution of the characteristics of the optical spectra collected from 10 pieces of Cu3xP-based Q-switched fiber lasers (black) and 11 pieces of Cu3xP-based mode-locked fiber lasers (red). (a) Statistical distribution of the 3 dB bandwidth and the corresponding Gauss-fitting results. (b) Statistical distribution of the central wavelength and the corresponding Gauss-fitting results
  Fig. S1 Evolution of output optical spectra while using different amounts of Cu3xP solution to prepare SA. (a) Brand new fiber without Cu3xP nanocrystals. (b) 40 μL. (c) 60 μL. (d) 80 μL. (e) 100 μL. (f) 120 μL. All laser experiments were performed under the same condition of intra-cavity polarization state and pump power. Inset: optical images of the side-polished optical fibers (a) without or (b)–(f) with 2D Cu3xP nanocrystals. Scale bar: 100 μm
  Fig. S2 Q-switched pulse trains obtained at different pump powers
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