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Optical Engineering

Calibration-free and bias-drift-free microwave characterization of dual-drive Mach–Zehnder modulators using heterodyne mixing
Author(s): Heng Wang; Shangjian Zhang; Xinhai Zou; Yali Zhang; Rongguo Lu; Zhiyao Zhang; Yong Liu
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Paper Abstract

An electrical method is proposed for the microwave characterization of dual-drive Mach–Zehnder modulators based on heterodyne mixing. The proposed method utilizes the heterodyne products between the two-tone modulated optical sidebands and frequency-shifted optical carrier, and achieves calibration-free and bias-drift-free microwave measurement of dual-drive Mach–Zehnder modulators with high resolution electrical-domain techniques. Our method avoids the extra calibration for the photodetector and reduces half the bandwidth requirement for the photodetector and the electrical spectrum analyzer through carefully choosing a half frequency relationship of the two-tone modulation. Moreover, our measurement avoids the bias drifting problem due to the insensitivity to the bias phase of the modulator under test. The frequency-dependent modulation depths and half-wave voltages are measured for a commercial dual-drive Mach–Zehnder modulator with our method, which agree well with the results obtained by the conventional optical spectrum analysis method.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 October 2015
PDF: 6 pages
Opt. Eng. 55(3) 031109 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.55.3.031109
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 55, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Heng Wang, Univ. of Electronic Science and Technology of China (China)
Shangjian Zhang, Univ. of Electronic Science and Technology of China (China)
Xinhai Zou, Univ. of Electronic Science and Technology of China (China)
Yali Zhang, Univ. of Electronic Science and Technology of China (China)
Rongguo Lu, Univ. of Electronic Science and Technology of China (China)
Zhiyao Zhang, Univ. of Electronic Science and Technology of China (China)
Yong Liu, Univ. of Electronic Science and Technology of China (China)


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