Direct space-to-time pulse shaping for ultrafast optical waveform generation
The high-speed photonic network industry, driven by the demands of enormous growth of network data traffic, has grown to be a multi-billion dollar entity. The availability of increased data traffic has come about due to the growth in bandwidth transmitted over optical fiber. This growth is primarily due to research in two areas—time-division-multiplexed (TDM), and wavelength-division-multiplexed (WDM) photonic network schemes. A key bottleneck in these high-speed photonic networks is the optical-electronic (OE) interface. Currently, multiple laser sources and/or multiple serial optoelectronic modulators are used to implement the OE interface in both photonic network schemes. In this thesis, an apparatus will be demonstrated that could act as a relatively simple OE interface for these high-speed photonic networks. The optical system, a direct space-to-time (DST) pulse shaper, converts a 1-D spatially patterned short optical pulse directly into a serial ultrafast time-domain waveform in a configuration compatible with the use of high-speed reflection modulator arrays. The space-to-time conversion properties, chirp compensation/cancellation, and potential for multiple spatially separated but wavelength shifted outputs will be examined theoretically and experimentally. Integrated optic implementations of the DST pulse shaper, based on a common high-speed WDM network component, will be investigated as well. Work on the bulk optics implementation of the DST shaper provides considerable insight into the operation of the integrated optics implementations. The space-to-time mapping, and multiple output channel characteristics of the bulk optics DST are shown to function similarly in the integrated optics implementations. These integrated optic versions of the DST pulse shaper may play a significant role in future high-speed photonic networks.
Weiner, Purdue University.
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