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Schmidt, Mark, Pfeiffer, Tom, Grill, Christin, Huber, Robert, Jirauschek, Christian.  2019.  Coexistence of Intensity Pattern Types in Broadband Fourier Domain Mode Locked (FDML) Lasers. 2019 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe European Quantum Electronics Conference (CLEO/Europe-EQEC). :1-1.
Fourier domain mode locked (FDML) lasers, in which the sweep period of the swept bandpass filter is synchronized with the roundtrip time of the optical field, are broadband and rapidly tunable fiber ring laser systems, which offer rich dynamics. A detailed understanding is important from a fundamental point of view, and also required in order to improve current FDML lasers which have not reached their coherence limit yet. Here, we study the formation of localized patterns in the intensity trace of FDML laser systems based on a master equation approach [1] derived from the nonlinear Schrödinger equation for polarization maintaining setups, which shows excellent agreement with experimental data. A variety of localized patterns and chaotic or bistable operation modes were previously discovered in [2–4] by investigating primarily quasi-static regimes within a narrow sweep bandwidth where a delay differential equation model was used. In particular, the formation of so-called holes which are characterized by a dip in the intensity trace and a rapid phase jump are described. Such holes have tentatively been associated with Nozaki-Bekki holes which are solutions to the complex Ginzburg-Landau equation. In Fig. 1 (b) to (d) small sections of a numerical solution of our master equation are presented for a partially dispersion compensated polarization maintaining FDML laser setup. Within our approach, we are able to study the full sweep dynamics over a broad sweep range of more than 100 nm. This allows us to identify different co-existing intensity patterns within a single sweep. In general, high frequency distortions in the intensity trace of FDML lasers [5] are mainly caused by synchronization mismatches caused by the fiber dispersion or a detuning of the roundtrip time of the optical field to the sweep period of the swept bandpass filter. This timing errors lead to rich and complex dynamics over many roundtrips and are a major source of noise, greatly affecting imaging and sensing applications. For example, the imaging quality in optical coherence tomography where FDML lasers are superior sources is significantly reduced [5].