Electro-Optic Modulator for Compensation of Third-Order Intermodulation Distortion Using Frequency Chirp Modulation

Takanori SATO
Tadashi KAWAI

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E103-C    No.11    pp.653-660
Publication Date: 2020/11/01
Publicized: 2020/06/05
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1587/transele.2019OCP0002
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Opto-electronics and Communications for Future Optical Network)
electro-optic modulator,  third-order intermodulation distortion,  dual parallel Mach-Zehnder modulator,  frequency chirp,  rat race circuit,  

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A new structure of the electro-optic modulator to compensate the third-order intermodulation distortion (IMD3) is introduced. The modulator includes two Mach-Zehnder modulators (MZMs) operating with frequency chirp and the two modulated outputs are combined with an adequate phase difference. We revealed by theoretical analysis and numerical calculations that the IMD3 components in the receiver output could be selectively suppressed when the two MZMs operate with chirp parameters of opposite signs to each other. Spectral power of the IMD3 components in the proposed modulator was more than 15dB lower than that in a normal Mach-Zehnder modulator at modulation index between 0.15π and 0.25π rad. The IMD3 compensation properties of the proposed modulator was experimentally confirmed by using a dual parallel Mach-Zehnder modulator (DPMZM) structure. We designed and fabricated the modulator with the single-chip structure and the single-input operation by integrating with 180° hybrid coupler on the modulator substrate. Modulation signals were applied to each modulation electrode by the 180° hybrid coupler to set the chirp parameters of two MZMs of the DPMZM. The properties of the fabricated modulator were measured by using 10GHz two-tone signals. The performance of the IMD3 compensation agreed with that in the calculation. It was confirmed that the IMD3 compensation could be realized even by the fabricated modulator structure.