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Opt Express. 2018 Jul 9;26(14):18399-18411. doi: 10.1364/OE.26.018399.

Tunable optical-microwave filters optimized for 100 MHz resolution.


New continuously tunable RF-spectrum analyzers, RF receivers, and RF signal generators are proposed and analyzed for the silicon-on-insulator integrated-photonic platform at the ~1550 nm wavelength. These RF system-on-a-chip applications are enabled by a new narrowband 2x2 Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) tuned filters for reconfigurable multiplexing, demultiplexing and RF channel selection. The filter can be optimized for ~100 MHz 3-dB bandwidth (BW) by utilizing N closely coupled Bragg-grating resonators to form one effective waveguide resonator in the single-mode silicon nanowire used for each MZI arm. The number of periods M within each individual resonator is selected to engineer BW in the 0.1 to 1 GHz range. Butterworth design is employed. Continuous tuning of the 100 MHz-BW devices over 18.6 GHz has been simulated by using local micron-scale thermo-optical heater stripes on the MZI arms with a temperature rise from 0 to 48K. For the case of N = 3 and 100-nm silicon side teeth, some representative performance predictions are: insertion loss (IL) = -10.7 dB, BW = 80.5 MHz and L = 113 μm for M = 58; while IL = -0.74 dB, BW = 1210 MHz and L = 86 μm for M = 44.


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