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Opt Express. 2011 Apr 11;19(8):7865-71. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.007865.

Nonlinear intermodulation distortion suppression in coherent analog fiber optic link using electro-optic polymeric dual parallel Mach-Zehnder modulator.

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  • 1Department of Electrical Engineering, University of California Los Angeles, 64-147 Engineering IV Building, Los Angeles, California 90095-1594, USA.


A linearized dual parallel Mach-Zehnder modulator (DPMZM) based on electro-optic (EO) polymer was both fabricated, and experimentally used to suppress the third-order intermodulation distortion (IMD3) in a coherent analog fiber optic link. This optical transmitter design was based on a new EO chromophore called B10, which was synthesized for applications dealing with the fiber-optic communication systems. The chromophore was mixed with amorphous polycarbonate (APC) to form the waveguide's core material. The DPMZM was configured with two MZMs, of different lengths in parallel, with unbalanced input and output couplers and a phase shifter in one arm. In this configuration each of the MZMs carried a different optical power, and imposed a different depth of optical modulation. When the two optical beams from the MZMs were combined to generate the transmitted signal it was possible to set the IMD3 produced by each modulator to be equal in amplitude but 180° out of phase from the other. Therefore, the resulting IMD3 of the DPMZM transmitter was effectively canceled out during two-tone experiments. A reduction of the IMD3 below the noise floor was observed while leaving fifth-order distortion (IMD5) as the dominant IMD product. This configuration has the capability of broadband operation and shot-noise limited operation simultaneously.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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