September 20, 2012

Quantum Dash Mode-Locked Lasers for Tunable Wavelength Conversion on a 100 GHz Frequency Grid

  • Larochelle S.
  • Lelarge F.
  • Make D.
  • Msallem Y.
  • Pommereau F.
  • Rusch L.
  • Shen A.

All optical wavelength converters play a key role for next generation high-bit rate optical networks. High-speed, simple and compact wavelength converter can resolve contention, reduce wavelength blocking, and enable a multitude of new wavelength routing approaches. We propose the combination of a quantum-dash mode-locked laser (QD-MLL) with a frequency selective filter to provide tunable wavelength pumps (two) for wavelength conversion of optical channels in a dual-pump four-wave-mixing (FWM) scheme. Such a converter is simple, practical, and offers wide conversion range, modulation format transparency and the potential for photonic integration. We examine the performance of the proposed scheme experimentally with a QD-MLL and manually tunable optical filters. Wavelength conversion is achieved via an extremely non-linear semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA), a commercial SOA with very high FWM efficiency. We achieved near -3 dB conversion efficiency across a 9.6 nm tuning range with signal input power of -3 dBm and pump input power of 2 dBm. We performed BER measurement on a 5.6 nm conversion range and obtained error free transmission (BER < 10-9 ) with less than 2 dB power penalty.

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