Highly linear dual ring resonator modulator for wide bandwidth microwave photonic links

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© 2016 Optical Society of America. A highly linear dual ring resonator modulator (DRRM) design is demonstrated to provide high spur-free dynamic range (SFDR) in a wide operational bandwidth. Harmonic and intermodulation distortions are theoretically analyzed in a single ring resonator modulator (RRM) with Lorentzian-shape transfer function and a strategy is proposed to enhance modulator linearity for wide bandwidth applications by utilizing DRRM. Third order intermodulation distortion is suppressed in a frequency independent process with proper splitting ratio of optical and RF power and proper dc biasing of the ring resonators. Operational bandwidth limits of the DRRM are compared to the RRM showing the capability of the DRRM in providing higher SFDR in an unlimited operational bandwidth. DRRM bandwidth limitations are a result of the modulation index from each RRM and their resonance characteristics that limit the gain and noise figure of the microwave photonic link. The impact of the modulator on microwave photonic link figure of merits is analyzed and compared to RRM and Mach-Zehnder Interference (MZI) modulators. Considering ± 5 GHz operational bandwidth around the resonance frequency imposed by the modulation index requirement the DRRM is capable of a ∼15 dB SFDR improvement (1 Hz instantaneous bandwidth) versus RRM and MZI.

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Optics Express