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High linearity silicon modulator capable of actively compensating input distortion

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Abstract

In this Letter, we demonstrate an ultra-high linearity silicon carrier-depletion-based modulator by integrating a dual-parallel Mach–Zehnder modulator (DP-MZM) with a ${{1}} \times {{2}}$ thermo-optical switch. The operation principle is to manipulate power distributions of RF and optical signals among the two sub-MZMs, so their third-order nonlinearities can cancel each other. Spurious-free dynamic ranges (SFDRs) for the third-order intermodulation distortion (IMD3) are measured to be ${{123/120}}\;{\rm{dB \cdot H}}{{\rm{z}}^{6/7}}$ at 1/10 GHz, which represents a record-high linearity achieved with silicon-based modulators. As a contrast, SFDRs of a reference single MZM are ${\rm{113/108}}\;{\rm{dB \cdot H}}{{\rm{z}}^{4/5}}$ at the same frequencies. Furthermore, we first demonstrate that this device is able to actively compensate nonlinear distortions of RF driving signals in the optical domain. Carrier-to-distortion ratios (CDRs) of deliberately distorted two-tone signals are improved from 40/50 dB to 45/72 dB after the modulation.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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