Optical sampling of ultrahigh bitrate signals using highly nonlinear chalcogenide planar waveguides or tapered fibers

Jürgen Van Erps*, Feng Luan, Mark D. Pelusi, Eric Mägi, Tim Iredale, Steve Madden, Duk Yong Choi, Douglas A. Bulla, Barry Luther-Davies, Hugo Thienpont, Benjamin J. Eggleton

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


    As the bit rates of optical networks increase, the ability of accurate monitoring of optical waveforms has become increasingly important. In recent years, optical sampling has emerged as a technique to perform time-resolved measurements of optical data signals at high data rates with a bandwidth that cannot be reached by conventional photodetectors and oscilloscopes. In an optical sampling system, the optical signal is sampled in the optical domain by a nonlinear optical sampling gate before the resulting samples are converted to an electrical signal. This avoids the need for high bandwidth electronics if the optical sampling gate is operated with a modest repetition frequency. In this paper, we present an optical sampling system using the optical Kerr effect in a highly nonlinear chalcogenide device, enabling combined capability for femtosecond resolution and broadband signal wavelength tunability. A temporal resolution 450-fs is achieved using four-wave mixing (FWM) in dispersion-engineered chalcogenide waveguides: on one hand a 7-cm long planar waveguide (integrated on a photonic chip) and on the other hand a 5-cm long tapered fiber. The use of a short length, dispersion-shifted waveguide with ultrahigh nonlinearity (10000/W/km) enables high-resolution optical sampling without the detrimental effect of chromatic dispersion on the temporal distortion of the signal and sampling pulses, as well as their phase mismatch (which in turn would degrade the FWM efficiency and the sensitivity of the measurement). Using these chalcogenide devices, we successfully monitor a 640-Gb/s optical time-division multiplexing (OTDM) datastream, showcasing its potential for monitoring of signals at bitrates approaching and beyond Tb/s. We compare the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches and discuss fundamental limitations as well as potential improvements.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNonlinear Optics and Applications IV
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    EventNonlinear Optics and Applications IV - Brussels, Belgium
    Duration: 12 Apr 201015 Apr 2010

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
    ISSN (Print)0277-786X


    ConferenceNonlinear Optics and Applications IV


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