Optical Single Sideband Modulator without Second-Order Sidebands

Erwin Hoi Wing Chan, Chongjia Huang, Chirappanath Albert

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    An optical single sideband modulator without generating both the -2nd and +2nd order sidebands is presented. It is based on parallel operation of two dual-drive Mach-Zehnder modulators (DDMZMs) where one is operated as a conventional single sideband (SSB) modulator and the other is operated as a single-drive Mach-Zehnder modulator (MZM) biased at the maximum transmission point. The 2nd order sidebands generated by the SSB modulator and the maximum-biased MZM can be cancelled by controlling the sideband amplitude and phase. Cancelling the 2nd order sidebands eliminates the second order harmonic component presented at the output of a long-reach fibre optic link. The new SSB modulator can be implemented using standard off-the-shelf components and has a wide bandwidth. Experimental results show > 20 dB 2nd order sidebands suppression for different modulation indexes and 22.6 dB reduction in the fibre optic link output second order harmonic component, compared to using a conventional SSB modulator formed by a DDMZM and a 90° hybrid coupler. Results also demonstrate the performance of the new SSB modulator is insensitive to the optical carrier frequency and the input RF signal frequency.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number17799888
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalIEEE Photonics Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


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