Inventors at Georgia Tech have developed a method of linearizing and/or enhancing electrical-to-optical conversion efficiency of integrated optical modulators. The method uses the DC Kerr effect to augment the plasma-dispersion refractive index response to linearize the modulator phase response, amplitude response, or both. The linearization method improves dynamic range as measured by the spur-free dynamic range (SFDR). The DC Kerr effect is used to enhance the electrical-to-optical conversion efficiency of the modulator, resulting in enhanced modulation characteristics of the modulators that nominally rely on the plasma dispersion effect.
- Improved response- combination of DC Kerr and plasma-dispersion effects can result in a more linear overall response of the modulator
- Increased efficiency- method uses the DC Kerr effect to increase the electrical-to-optical conversion efficiency
- Versatile- applications in any transmitter requiring high linearity
- Easily integrated- no additional electrical or optical outputs required and no complex circuitry to implement
- Multi-level digital modulation formats
- Microwave/RF/analog products
- Avionic and Vehicular communications
Integrated microwave photonics (MWP) offer size, weight, and power consumption improvements over traditional MWP systems, enabling deployment opportunities not currently available. Integrated photonic MWP transmitters and receivers enable compact wideband digital and radio-frequency-over-fiber links with improved interference immunity and mechanical flexibility over copper radio-frequency (RF) cables. However, integrated MWP systems currently lag in performance compared to discrete MWP systems. Multi-level digital modulation schemes require linear transfer characteristics and thus benefit from linearization.