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Photonics 2015, 2(3), 957-968; doi:10.3390/photonics2030957

Integrated Microwave Photonic Isolators: Theory, Experimental Realization and Application in a Unidirectional Ring Mode-Locked Laser Diode

1
Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, Aarhus 8200, Denmark
2
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara 93106-9560, CA, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 August 2015 / Revised: 4 September 2015 / Accepted: 5 September 2015 / Published: 10 September 2015
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Abstract

A novel integrated microwave photonic isolator is presented. It is based on the timed drive of a pair of optical modulators, which transmit a pulsed or oscillating optical signal with low loss, when driven in phase. A signal in the reverse propagation direction will find the modulators out of phase and, hence, will experience high loss. Optical and microwave isolation ratios were simulated to be in the range up to 10 dB and 20 dB, respectively, using parameters representative for the indium phosphide platform. The experimental realization of this device in the hybrid silicon platform showed microwave isolation in the 9 dB–22 dB range. Furthermore, we present a design study on the use of these isolators inside a ring mode-locked laser cavity. Simulations show that unidirectional operation can be achieved, with a 30–50-dB suppression of the counter propagating mode, at limited driving voltages. The potentially low noise and feedback-insensitive operation of such a laser makes it a very promising candidate for use as on-chip microwave or comb generators. View Full-Text
Keywords: hybrid silicon platform; microwave photonics; mode-locked laser diodes; optical isolators; photonic integrated circuits; semiconductor optical amplifiers; silicon photonics hybrid silicon platform; microwave photonics; mode-locked laser diodes; optical isolators; photonic integrated circuits; semiconductor optical amplifiers; silicon photonics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Heck, M.J.; Srinivasan, S.; Davenport, M.L.; Bowers, J.E. Integrated Microwave Photonic Isolators: Theory, Experimental Realization and Application in a Unidirectional Ring Mode-Locked Laser Diode. Photonics 2015, 2, 957-968.

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