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40 GHz electro-optic polarization modulator for fiber optic communications systems. Bull, Jeffrey D.; Jaeger, Nicolas A. F.; Kato, Hiroshi; Fairburn, Mark; Reid, Adam; Ghanipour, Pejman 2004-12-31

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40 GHz electro-optic polarization modulator for fiber opticcommunications systemsJeffrey D. Bull*a, Nicolas A. F. Jaegerb, Hiroshi Katoa, Mark Fairburna, Adam Reida,Pejman GhanipourbaJGKB Photonics Inc., 221 - 4664 Lougheed Highway, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5C 5T5;bDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia,2356 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4ABSTRACTA novel ultrahigh-speed electro-optic polarization modulator is introduced.  The modulator uses a mode converter and astatic polarization controller to change the output polarization state in a circular path, following a great circle, around thePoincaré sphere.  Any two states on the Poincaré sphere can be connected.   The mode converter is constructed using anAlGaAs ridge waveguide combined with slow-wave travelling wave electrodes.  The travelling wave electrodes aredesigned to match the velocity of the electrical modulating signal, the data signal, to the optical carrier signal over abroad frequency range.  This modulator demonstrates a 3 dB bandwidth in excess of 40 GHz.  The polarizationmodulator exhibits extremely low differential group delay, on the order of a few 10s of femto-seconds, and low drivevoltage, on the order of 5 V.Keywords:  Modulator, electro-optic, 40 Gb/s, polarization modulation, Gallium Arsenide1.  INTRODUCTIONTraditionally, optical data transmission has relied heavily on on-off keying to encode data onto an optical carrier signal.1Recently, there has been increasing interest in alternative modulation formats using polarization modulation.2,3,4  In thispaper, we present a novel ultrahigh-speed electro-optic polarization modulator.  The modulator uses a mode converter incombination with a polarization controller to change the output polarization state in a circular path around the Poincarésphere.  The mode converter is constructed using an AlGaAs ridge waveguide combined with travelling waveelectrodes.5,6  The travelling wave electrodes are designed to match the velocity of the electrical data signal to the opticalcarrier signal over a broad frequency range.  This modulator demonstrates a 3 dB bandwidth exceeding 40 GHzcombined with extremely low differential group delay and low drive voltage.  The design and performancecharacteristics of the modulator are analyzed and discussed.  A recent experiment, demonstrating a dramatic reduction inthe bit error rate in a 43.5 Gb/s RZ-DPSK system transmitting over 200 km spans by using the polarization modulator tochange the polarization state of alternate bits,2 is reviewed.  Finally, other applications of the polarization modulator arepresented.In addition to this introduction, this paper is divided into 4 sections.  In Section 2 we discuss the operation of thepolarization modulator from both an optical and an electrical perspective as well as some of the benefits offered by it.  InSection 3 we present results of optical measurements made on the polarization modulator.  In Section 4 we discusspossible applications of the polarization modulator.  In Section 5 we summarize the paper and present conclusions.                                                          *jeff.bull@jgkb.com; phone 1 604 221-5452; fax 1 604 221-5453; www.jgkb.comPhotonics North 2004: Optical Components and Devices, edited by John C. Armitage,Simon Fafard, Roger A. Lessard, George A. Lampropoulos, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 5577(SPIE, Bellingham, WA, 2004) 0277-786X/04/$15 · doi: 10.1117/12.567640133Downloaded from SPIE Digital Library on 07 Jun 2011 to Terms of Use:  http://spiedl.org/terms2.  PRINCIPLES OF OPERATION AND BENEFITS2.1 Principles of operation - opticalOur electro-optic polarization modulator uses a single waveguide mode converter to switch light between polarizationstates that lie on the great circle of the Poincaré sphere that contains the horizontal linear polarization state (the H state),the vertical linear polarization state (the V state), and the two poles (the right-handed and the left-handed circularpolarization states, the R and L states, respectively), the HRVL circle, see Figure 1.  This single waveguide modeconverter is a “two-moded” AlGaAs/GaAs waveguide fabricated in )100( GaAs and running in a >< 101  direction.  Thewaveguide is two-moded in that it supports two orthogonal eigen-modes.  Light is launched into one facet of thewaveguide in either the H state, corresponding to the fundamental TE-like mode, or the V state, corresponding to thefundamental TM-like mode.  This launched, linearly polarized, light is resolved into two components each of whichcorresponds to one of the eigen-modes of the waveguide.  By design, these two eigen-modes are linearly polarized at 45oto the horizontal and the vertical directions and correspond to the D and D’ states in Figure 1.Essentially our polarization modulator is as a TE↔ TM mode converter followed by a “static” polarization controller.The TE↔ TM mode converter operates in the following manner.  Figure 2 shows a cross section of the AlGaAs/GaAswaveguide together with the crystal orientation.  Application of an electric field in a >< 011  direction induces changesVDRLD′HFigure 1.  3-D perspective view of the Poincaré sphere showing several special polarization states.  The H and V points correspond tohorizontal and vertical linear polarizations.  The R and L points correspond to right and left circularly polarized light. The D and D’points correspond to linearly polarized light at ±45 degrees to the horizontal.  The HRVL circle is emphasised.134     Proc. of SPIE Vol. 5577Downloaded from SPIE Digital Library on 07 Jun 2011 to Terms of Use:  http://spiedl.org/termsin the optical indicatrix along the >< 112 and >< 112  directions via the electro-optic effect.  These changes are equalbut opposite.  If, say, light in the H state, i.e., the TE-like mode polarized parallel the ]011[ direction, is launched into thewaveguide it will resolve itself into the D and D’ states, the hybrid eigen-modes polarized in the ]112[ and the ]112[directions.  Since in our modulator the differential modal loss of the hybrid eigen-modes is low, the polarization state atthe output will move along the great circle passing through the poles as the applied electric field changes.  In theconversion from TE to TM, or visa versa, the polarization state moves along the great circle of the Poincaré sphere thatconnects the two points, H and V, on the equator of the sphere through one of the poles, depending on the direction ofthe applied field.  Using the polarization modulator, ultrahigh-speed modulation between any two states on the Poincarésphere can be achieved.2.2 Principles of operation – electricalIn order to achieve ultrahigh-speed operation the velocity of the modulating electrical signal must be matched to that ofthe optical signal and the resistive losses must be kept to a minimum. The velocity of the modulating electrical signal ismatched to that of the optical signal by loading the transmission line with fins and pads,5,6 see Figure 3.  The fins andpads add capacitance to the line, without creating a significant change in the inductance, which results in a lower phasevelocity or higher microwave index.  The microwave index is tailored to be the same as the group index of the opticalwaveguide at the upper 3 dB point of the modulator.  Figure 4 shows the microwave-wave index of a capacitivelyloaded, “slow-wave” transmission line as a function of frequency.  The optical group index is also shown and is invariantwith the microwave frequency.  The fins and pads also reduce the resistive losses, since without them the current densityin the “rail sections” would be much higher for comparable electrode gaps at the ridge.Figure 2.  Cross-section of the AlGaAs/GaAs waveguide together with the crystal orientation.Proc. of SPIE Vol. 5577     135Downloaded from SPIE Digital Library on 07 Jun 2011 to Terms of Use:  http://spiedl.org/termsFigure 3.  Capacitively loaded, slow-wave transmission line for matching the modulating signal’s velocity to that of the optical signal.The fins and pads form the "T-shaped" capacitive elements.frequency (GHz)microwave indexFigure 4.  Microwave index as a function of frequency.  The microwave index of the structure is tailored to be the same as the opticalindex at the modulator’s 3 dB point, here at approximately 40 GHz.136     Proc. of SPIE Vol. 5577Downloaded from SPIE Digital Library on 07 Jun 2011 to Terms of Use:  http://spiedl.org/terms2.3 Benefits over existing polarization convertersThere are three principal benefits of our polarization modulator over existing polarization converters.  These areultrahigh-speed operation, low drive voltage, and low differential group delay (DGD).Figures 5 and 6 show the frequency response of one of our polarization modulators; Figure 5 shows |S21| and 6 shows|S11|.  Here the modulator is being operated between the H and V states on the HRVL circle.  The 3 dB frequency is thatfrequency at which the signal is 3 dB down after being passed through an analyzer (linear polarizer) aligned with the Vstate; in this case it is ~46 GHz.  The drive voltage of the polarization modulator is the voltage needed to drive themodulator between two orthogonal polarizations states.  For a 40 Gb/s bit rate, the drive voltage is typically 5.5 V.Another aspect of our polarization modulator that contributes to its ultrahigh-speed performance is that the modulatorproduces minimal phase modulation.  When the modulating electric field is oriented as indicated in Figure 2, there is nonet phase modulation for the device since the electric field results in a “push-pull” effect between the two hybrid eigen-modes.Low DGD results from the symmetry of the two hybrid eigen-modes.  With proper design and fabrication, both modes“see” essentially the same structure and as a result have nearly the same velocity and differential loss.  The maincontribution to the DGD is the waveguide birefringence.  For efficient mode conversion, the waveguide birefringenceneeds to be very small.  Since GaAs is optically isotropic in the absence of an electric field, the waveguide birefringenceis dominated by geometric birefringence and is on the order of 1E-4.  For typical waveguide lengths of a fewcentimetres, the DGD is expected to be on the order of 10’s of femto-seconds.  In comparison, an X or Y-propagatinglithium niobate phase modulator is expected to have a differential group delay between 10 and 15 ps due to aFigure 5.  |S21| for one of our modulators; a polynomial fit has been used to determine the 3 dB point of ~46GHz.Proc. of SPIE Vol. 5577     137Downloaded from SPIE Digital Library on 07 Jun 2011 to Terms of Use:  http://spiedl.org/termsFigure 6.  |S11| for the modulator of Figure 5.  It shows better than 11 dB return loss up to 40 GHz.material birefringence of approximately 0.077 at 1550 nm.  A delay of 10 ps represents an unacceptably large portion ofthe 25 ps bit period of a 40 Gb/s data stream.  In our modulator, a 25 ps pulse can enter the waveguide and suffernegligible DGD distortion upon exiting the device.By being ultrahigh-speed, our polarization converter can be used in advanced modulation schemes requiring that thepolarization of the data rapidly change from one state to another.  Some such schemes are discussed in Section 4 below.3. POLARIZATION MEASUREMENTSWe now present Stokes vector measurements for our modulator, plotted on the Poincaré sphere.  Figure 7 showsexperimental data as the modulator is swept through twice the drive voltage.  Figure 7a is a 3-D perspective viewshowing that the output states pass very near the H, R, V and L points in the Poincaré sphere on the HRVL circle.Figures 7b, c and d show the same data projected into the S3, S2, and S1 normal planes, respectively. Throughexamination of Figures 7b and d, it is evident that the output states of the polarization modulator deviate slightly fromthe ideal HRVL circle.  One way to quantify this deviation is to examine the orthogonality of output states of themodulator.  On the Poincaré sphere, two orthogonal states are co-linear and point in opposite directions, or alternatively,have a dot product equal to -1.  The ideal polarization modulator traces a great circle on the Poincaré sphere; each pointalong the transfer function has a perfectly orthogonal counterpart.  The measured orthogonality between states in ourpolarization modulator is shown in Figure 8.  The orthogonality is calculated at each output state, P1, of the modulatoraccording to •+−=21log102PPER1138     Proc. of SPIE Vol. 5577Downloaded from SPIE Digital Library on 07 Jun 2011 to Terms of Use:  http://spiedl.org/termswhere P2 is the output state that minimizes the dot product with P1.In Figure 8, the output states of the modulator are identified on the x-axis by the angle the Stokes vector makes with theS1 axis of the Poincaré sphere, shown as the angle θ in Figure 7c.  Since all of the output states nominally lie in the S1-S3 plane, this single angle is sufficient to identify each output state.  Figure 8 shows that the extinction ratio is in excessof 28 dB for all of the polarization output states and even greater than that amount for a subset of the operating points.These results indicate that the device is capable of producing a set of highly orthogonal states and that the extinction ratiocan be maximized by choosing the appropriate operating point.VDRL[a]D′HHVDD′[b]HVRLθ[c]DD′RL[d]Figure 7.  Stokes vector data for the output states of the polarization modulator.  Panel [a] shows a 3-D perspective view of the data inthe Poincaré sphere.  Panels [b], [c] and [d] show the data in the S3, S2 and S1 normal planes, respectively.Proc. of SPIE Vol. 5577     139Downloaded from SPIE Digital Library on 07 Jun 2011 to Terms of Use:  http://spiedl.org/terms20253035404550−π −π/2 0 π/2 πReference angle θ (radians)Polarization Extinction Ratio (dB)Figure 8.  Maximum polarization extinction ratio as a function of the reference angle θ, defined in Figure 7c.The results presented thus far have shown that the output polarization states of the polarization modulator trace out anHRVL circle in the Poincaré sphere.  By adding various optical elements at the output, it is possible to re-orient theHRVL circle to trace out other paths as well.  An example of this is shown in Figure 9a, where the output of thepolarization modulator has passed through a quarter-wave plate.  The result is that the modulator now traces out a greatcircle through the H, D, V and D’ points and therefore the output remains linearly polarized and rotates through 180degrees.  This concept can be generalized to say that by placing the appropriate static polarization controller at the outputof the modulator, the great circle which the modulator traces out can be arbitrarily rotated about the origin of thePoincaré sphere.  Here, we assume the polarization controller has negligible polarization dependent loss.As another example, Figure 9b shows the output states of the polarization modulator when passed through a length ofsingle mode fiber.  The fact that the orthogonality between states is preserved when the output passes through singlemode fiber8 is key since single mode fiber is a convenient way to deliver a polarization modulated signal to anothercomponent in an optical system.  By using a polarization controller either before or after the single mode fiber, it ispossible to re-orient the final polarization states back to the HRVL circle, or to any other great circle.140     Proc. of SPIE Vol. 5577Downloaded from SPIE Digital Library on 07 Jun 2011 to Terms of Use:  http://spiedl.org/termsVDRL[a]D′HVDRL[b]D′HFigure 9.  Panel [a] - Stokes vector data for the output states of the polarization modulator with a quarter wave plate at the output.Panel [b] – Example of Stokes vector data for the output states of the polarization modulator with an arbitrary spool of single modefiber at the output.4.  POLARIZATION CONVERTERS IN ADVANCED MODULATION SCHEMESSince the introduction of our polarization modulator in September 2003, there has been interest in using polarizationmodulation to improve the performance of both analog and digital transmission systems.  We review work presented thisyear at the Optical Fiber Conference (OFC 2004) and the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO 2004) inwhich our polarization modulators were used.  In the first example, it is used to alternate the polarization state ofadjacent bits in a system employing return-to-zero differential phase shift keying (RZ-DPSK) to extend the reach to arecord setting 2000 km, transmitting over 200 km spans of standard single mode fiber (SSMF) amplified using erbiumdoped fiber amplifiers (EDFA).  In the second example it is used to encode data to reduce inter-channel cross talk in ananalog transmission link.  We also mention a third application in which the performance of forward pumped Ramanamplification can be improved by rapidly changing the state of polarization of the pump.  This work reported theenhancements on a transmission system operating at 2.5 Gb/s and did not use our polarization modulator, however astransmission speeds increase to 10 Gb/s and beyond, a polarization modulator with higher bandwidth would be ideal forthis application.4.1 Polarization AlternationDespite the demonstrated performance advantages of using advanced dispersion minimizing fibers and Ramanamplification, focused efforts are being made to maximize the performance of installed fiber links which arepredominantly SSMF with EDFA amplification.2  In the work reported on by Gnauck et al., the polarization state ofadjacent pulses in an 42.7 Gb/s RZ-DPSK data stream were made orthogonal using our polarization modulator.  Thepolarization alternation allowed for an increase in the per-channel launch power by 2-3 dBm and resulted in a 10-2reduction in uncorrected bit error rate (BER).  The work also demonstrated similar reductions in BER when polarizationalternation was used with return-to-zero on-off keying (RZ-OOK).94.2 Polarization ModulationInter-channel crosstalk in analog systems employing wavelength division multiplexing has been reported to significantlydegrade performance, particularly in phase sensitive applications such as antenna arrays.10  Constant amplitudeProc. of SPIE Vol. 5577     141Downloaded from SPIE Digital Library on 07 Jun 2011 to Terms of Use:  http://spiedl.org/termsmodulation formats such as polarization shift keying have been used to demonstrate significant reduction of inter-channel crosstalk.  In polarization shift keying, the information is coded by altering the state of polarization (SOP) of theoptical carrier signal.  In the work reported by Campillo et al.11 using our polarization modulator, the crosstalk in a 25km, 200 GHz spaced analog link was reduced by up to 35 dB at certain wavelengths by using polarization modulation incomparison with conventional amplitude modulation.4.3 Polarization Sweeping for Raman AmplificationAnother application for a high speed polarization modulator was reported by Hu et al.12  In this work the case was madefor reducing the polarization dependent gain (PDG) in a forward pumped Raman amplifier by modulating the SOP of thepump source at a rate faster than the bit rate.  To reduce the PDG in a 2.5 Gb/s link amplified using Raman amplifiers,the pump source was modulated at 10 Gb/s.  The main goal was to ensure that the modulation rate of the pump sourcewas faster than the bit rate of the signal to ensure that each bit would see more than one polarization state of the pump.In previously reported work on high-speed polarization alternation, a modified lithium niobate phase modulator istypically used.  At this time we are only aware of phase modulators with a maximum 3 dB optical bandwidth of 20 GHz.Clearly, as data rates migrate to 10 Gb/s and beyond, faster polarization modulators, such as we present here, will berequired to employ this technique.As of this writing other applications of polarization modulation are being actively explored with another presentationusing our modulator expected at the European Conference on Optical Communications ECOC 2004.5.  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONSA novel ultrahigh-speed GaAs based electro-optic polarization modulator was presented.  The modulator used a modeconverter and a static polarization controller to change the output polarization state in an arbitrary great circle around thePoincaré sphere.  The mode converter was constructed using an AlGaAs ridge waveguide and a slow-wave travellingwave electrode structure.  The electrodes are designed to match the velocity of the electrical modulating signal to theoptical signal in the vicinity of the 3 dB point.  This modulator demonstrated a 3 dB bandwidth in excess of 40 GHz.The polarization modulator combines ultrawide bandwidth, extremely low differential group delay, and low drivevoltage.  These features enable ultrahigh-speed polarization modulation for applications including polarizationalternation and polarization modulation for 40 Gb/s applications and beyond. REFERENCES1.  G. P. Agrawal, Fiber-Optic Communication Systems, Wiley, New York, 1992.2.  A. H. Gnauck, J. Leuthold, C. Xie, I. Kang, S. Chandrasekhar, P. Bernasconi, C. Doerr, L. Buhl, J. D. Bull, N. A. F.Jaeger, H. Kato, A. Guest “6 x 42.7-Gb/s transmission over ten 200-km EDFA-amplified SSMF spans usingpolarization-alternating RZ-DPSK”, Proceedings of OFC 2004, postdeadling paper PDP-35, Los Angeles, California,February 2004.3.  E. S. Hu, Y. Hsueh, M. E. Marhic and L. G. Kazovsky, "4-Level Direct-Detection Polarization Shift-Keying (DD-PolSK) System with Phase Modulators," Proceedings of OFC 2003, Atlanta, Georgia, March 2003.4.  S. Benedetto, A. Djupsjobacka, B. Lagerstrom, R. Paoletti, P. Poggiolini, and G. Mijic, “Multilevel PolarizationModulation Using a Specifically Design LiNbO3 Device, IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, vol. 6, no. 8, pp. 949-951,1994.5.  N. A. F. Jaeger, J. D. Bull, H. Kato, P. Lu, A. Kulpa, S. Ristic, P. Ghanipour, “Ultrahigh-Speed, CompoundSemiconductor Mode-Converters,” OPTO-Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, May 9-10, 2002.6.  F. Rahmatian, N. A. F. Jaeger, R. James, and E. Berolo, “An Ultra-High-Speed AlGaAs/GaAs Polarization ConverterUsing Slow-Wave Coplanar Electrodes,” IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, vol. 10, no. 5, pp. 675-677, May 1998.7.  M. Quillec, Materials for Optoelectronics, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, 1996.142     Proc. of SPIE Vol. 5577Downloaded from SPIE Digital Library on 07 Jun 2011 to Terms of Use:  http://spiedl.org/terms8.  S. Benedetto and P. Poggiolini, “Theory of Polarization Shift Keying Modulation,” IEEE Transactions onCommunications, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 708-721, 1992.9.  A. H. Gnauck, J. Leuthold, C. Xie, I. Kang, S. Chandrasekhar, P. Bernasconi, C. Doerr, L. Buhl, J. D. Bull, N. A. F.Jaeger, H. Kato, A. Guest “6 x 42.7-Gb/s transmission over ten 200-km EDFA-amplified SSMF spans usingpolarization-alternating RZ-DPSK”, Postdeadling Presentation OFC 2004, Los Angeles, California, Feb. 2004.10.  A. Campillo, D. Tulschinsky, E. Funk, K. Williams, “RF phase distortion due to crosstalk in an 8 channelwavelength division multiplexed analog delay line,” OSA Trends in Optics and Photonics (TOPS), Optical FiberCommunication Conference, Technical Digest Post Conference Edition, vol. 86, Washington, DC, pp.729-730, 2003.11.  A. Campillo, F. Bucholtz, J. Dexter, K. Williams, “Crosstalk reduction in wavelength division multiplexed analoglinks through polarization modulation,” Conference on Lasers and Electro-optics, (CLEO 2004), CWQ3, San Francisco,California, May 16-21, 2004.12.  E. S. Hu, Y. Hsueh, M. E. Marhic, and L. G. Kazovsky, "Low-PDG Raman amplification via 10 GHz polarizationsweeping with LiNbO3 phase modulator," Conference on Lasers and Electro-optics, (CLEO 2003), CWL2, Baltimore,Maryland, June 2003.Proc. of SPIE Vol. 5577     143Downloaded from SPIE Digital Library on 07 Jun 2011 to Terms of Use:  http://spiedl.org/terms


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