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Optical sampeling of ultrahigh bitrate signals using highly nonlinear chalcogenide planar waveguides of tapered fibres.

Publication date 2010
B-Phot Authors Jurgen Van Erps, Hugo Thienpont
DOI 10.1117/12.853640
Citation
J. Van Erps et al., “Optical sampeling of ultrahigh bitrate signals using highly nonlinear chalcogenide planar waveguides of tapered fibres.,” in Proc. SPIE, Nonlinear Optics and its Applications, 2010, vol. 7728, p. 772803.
Abstract As the bit rates of optical networks increase, the ability of accurate monitoring of optical waveforms has become increasingly important. In recent years, optical sampling has emerged as a technique to perform time-resolved measurements of optical data signals at high data rates with a bandwidth that cannot be reached by conventional photodetectors and oscilloscopes. In an optical sampling system, the optical signal is sampled in the optical domain by a nonlinear optical sampling gate before the resulting samples are converted to an electrical signal. This avoids the need for high bandwidth electronics if the optical sampling gate is operated with a modest repetition frequency. In this paper, we present an optical sampling system using the optical Kerr effect in a highly nonlinear chalcogenide device, enabling combined capability for femtosecond resolution and broadband signal wavelength tunability. A temporal resolution 450-fs is achieved using four-wave mixing (FWM) in dispersion-engineered chalcogenide waveguides: on one hand a 7-cm long planar waveguide (integrated on a photonic chip) and on the other hand a 5-cm long tapered fiber. The use of a short length, dispersion-shifted waveguide with ultrahigh nonlinearity (10000/W/km) enables high-resolution optical sampling without the detrimental effect of chromatic dispersion on the temporal distortion of the signal and sampling pulses, as well as their phase mismatch (which in turn would degrade the FWM efficiency and the sensitivity of the measurement). Using these chalcogenide devices, we successfully monitor a 640-Gb/s optical time-division multiplexing (OTDM) datastream, showcasing its potential for monitoring of signals at bitrates approaching and beyond Tb/s. We compare the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches and discuss fundamental limitations as well as potential improvements.
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