Solitons are self-reinforcing localized wave packets that manifest in the major areas of nonlinear science, from optics to biology and Bose-Einstein condensates. Recently, optically driven dissipative solitons have attracted great attention for the implementation of the chip-scale frequency combs that are decisive for communications, spectroscopy, neural computing, and quantum information processing. In the current understanding, the generation of temporal solitons involves the chromatic dispersion as a key enabling physical effect, acting either globally or locally on the cavity dynamics in a decisive way. Here, we report on a novel class of solitons, both theoretically and experimentally, which builds up in spectrally confined optical cavities when dispersion is practically absent, both globally and locally. Precisely, the interplay between the Kerr nonlinearity and spectral filtering results in an infinite hierarchy of eigenfunctions which, combined with optical gain, allow for the generation of stable dispersion-less dissipative solitons in a previously unexplored regime. When the filter order tends to infinity, we find an unexpected link between dissipative and conservative solitons, in the form of Nyquist-pulse-like solitons endowed with an ultra-flat spectrum. In contrast to the conventional dispersion-enabled nonlinear Schrödinger solitons, these dispersion-less Nyquist solitons build on a fully confined spectrum and their energy scaling is not constrained by the pulse duration. Dispersion-less soliton molecules and their deterministic transitioning to single solitons are also evidenced. These findings broaden the fundamental scope of the dissipative soliton paradigm and open new avenues for generating soliton pulses and frequency combs endowed with unprecedented temporal and spectral features.
© 2023. The Author(s).