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Theory of space-time supermodes in planar multimode waveguides

Abbas ShiriKenneth L. ScheplerAyman F. Abouraddy
Dec 2022
摘要
When an optical pulse is focused into a multimode waveguide or fiber, theenergy is divided among the available guided modes. Consequently, the initiallylocalized intensity spreads transversely, the spatial profile undergoes rapidvariations with axial propagation, and the pulse disperses temporally.Space-time (ST) supermodes are pulsed guided field configurations thatpropagate invariantly in multimode waveguides by assigning each mode to aprescribed wavelength. ST supermodes can be thus viewed as spectrally discrete,guided-wave counterpart of the recently demonstrated propagation-invariant STwave packets in free space. The group velocity of an ST supermode is tunableindependently -- in principle -- of the waveguide structure, group-velocitydispersion is eliminated or dramatically curtailed, and the time-averagedintensity profile is axially invariant along the waveguide in absence ofmode-coupling. We establish here a theoretical framework for studying STsupermodes in planar waveguides. Modal engineering allows sculpting thisaxially invariant transverse intensity profile from an on-axis peak or dip(dark beam), to a multi-peak or flat distribution. Moreover, ST supermodes canbe synthesized using spectrally incoherent light, thus paving the way topotential applications in optical beam delivery for lighting applications.
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