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Microresonator-based solitons for massively parallel coherent optical communications

Overview of attention for article published in Nature, June 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (78th percentile)

Mentioned by

32 news outlets
2 blogs
15 tweeters
2 patents
1 Facebook page
2 Redditors


251 Dimensions

Readers on

270 Mendeley
Microresonator-based solitons for massively parallel coherent optical communications
Published in
Nature, June 2017
DOI 10.1038/nature22387
Pubmed ID

Pablo Marin-Palomo, Juned N. Kemal, Maxim Karpov, Arne Kordts, Joerg Pfeifle, Martin H. P. Pfeiffer, Philipp Trocha, Stefan Wolf, Victor Brasch, Miles H. Anderson, Ralf Rosenberger, Kovendhan Vijayan, Wolfgang Freude, Tobias J. Kippenberg, Christian Koos


Solitons are waveforms that preserve their shape while propagating, as a result of a balance of dispersion and nonlinearity. Soliton-based data transmission schemes were investigated in the 1980s and showed promise as a way of overcoming the limitations imposed by dispersion of optical fibres. However, these approaches were later abandoned in favour of wavelength-division multiplexing schemes, which are easier to implement and offer improved scalability to higher data rates. Here we show that solitons could make a comeback in optical communications, not as a competitor but as a key element of massively parallel wavelength-division multiplexing. Instead of encoding data on the soliton pulse train itself, we use continuous-wave tones of the associated frequency comb as carriers for communication. Dissipative Kerr solitons (DKSs) (solitons that rely on a double balance of parametric gain and cavity loss, as well as dispersion and nonlinearity) are generated as continuously circulating pulses in an integrated silicon nitride microresonator via four-photon interactions mediated by the Kerr nonlinearity, leading to low-noise, spectrally smooth, broadband optical frequency combs. We use two interleaved DKS frequency combs to transmit a data stream of more than 50 terabits per second on 179 individual optical carriers that span the entire telecommunication C and L bands (centred around infrared telecommunication wavelengths of 1.55 micrometres). We also demonstrate coherent detection of a wavelength-division multiplexing data stream by using a pair of DKS frequency combs-one as a multi-wavelength light source at the transmitter and the other as the corresponding local oscillator at the receiver. This approach exploits the scalability of microresonator-based DKS frequency comb sources for massively parallel optical communications at both the transmitter and the receiver. Our results demonstrate the potential of these sources to replace the arrays of continuous-wave lasers that are currently used in high-speed communications. In combination with advanced spatial multiplexing schemes and highly integrated silicon photonic circuits, DKS frequency combs could bring chip-scale petabit-per-second transceivers into reach.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 15 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 270 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Germany 2 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 267 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 82 30%
Researcher 50 19%
Student > Doctoral Student 22 8%
Student > Master 21 8%
Student > Bachelor 13 5%
Other 45 17%
Unknown 37 14%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Physics and Astronomy 121 45%
Engineering 87 32%
Computer Science 5 2%
Materials Science 4 1%
Chemistry 4 1%
Other 3 1%
Unknown 46 17%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 260. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 25 May 2020.
All research outputs
of 15,323,046 outputs
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from Nature
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Altmetric has tracked 15,323,046 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 74,376 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 83.4. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 92% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 387,442 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 906 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 78% of its contemporaries.