We theoretically demonstrate and experimentally confirm the major influence of gain dynamics on soliton molecules that self-assemble in mode-locked lasers. Both slow gain recovery and depletion play a pivotal role in the formation of chirped soliton molecules characterized by an increasing separation from leading to trailing pulses. These chirped molecules actually consist of many pulses and may be termed macromolecules. They are experimentally observed in a fiber laser and numerically modeled by an approach that properly includes the slow gain dynamics. Furthermore, it is shown that these processes stabilize soliton trains in fiber lasers by inhibiting internal oscillations.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
Lasers and Laser Optics
Original Manuscript: November 28, 2011
Revised Manuscript: November 28, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: November 28, 2011
Published: January 12, 2012
Alexandr Zaviyalov, Philippe Grelu, and Falk Lederer, "Impact of slow gain dynamics on soliton molecules in mode-locked fiber lasers," Opt. Lett. 37, 175-177 (2012)