Abstract

The spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) of a direct-detection RF/photonic link is restricted by nonlinearity of the optical intensity modulation. We report a compact quantum well Mach–Zehnder (MZ) optical intensity modulator with enhanced linearity. The MZ modulator's linearity is improved by canceling the nonlinear distortions from the MZ interferometer and the optical phase modulation. The compact modulator is less than 4 mm long and has a Vπ of ∼5.5 volt. In an RF photonic link, the modulator helped to achieve an SFDR of 117 dB·Hz2/3 at 1 GHz with 1.4 mA photodetector photocurrent. A down-conversion RF photonic link using this modulator demonstrated an RF-to-IF SFDR of 108.1 dB·Hz2/3.

© 2017 IEEE

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