Presentation on theme: "Light Sources – II The Laser and External Modulation"— Presentation transcript:
1 Light Sources – II The Laser and External Modulation Optical Communication Systems-Xavier Fernando
2 The LASER Light Amplification by ‘Stimulated Emission’ and Radiation Laser is an optical oscillator. It comprises a resonant optical amplifier whose output is fed back into its input with matching phase. Any oscillator contains:1- An amplifier with a gain-saturated mechanism2- A positive feedback system3- A frequency selection mechanism4- An output coupling scheme
3 LASERIn laser, the amplifier is the pumped active medium (biased semiconductor region).Feedback can be obtained by placing the active medium in an optical resonator, such as Fabry-Perot structure.Frequency selection is achieved by the resonators, which admits only certain modes.Output coupling is accomplished by making one of the resonator mirrors partially transmitting.
4 Fundamental Lasing Operation Absorption: An atom in the ground state might absorb a photon emitted by another atom, thus making a transition to an excited state.Spontaneous Emission: random emission of a photon, which enables the atom to relax to the ground state.Stimulated Emission: An atom in an excited state might be stimulated to emit a photon by another incident photon.
6 In Stimulated Emission incident and stimulated photons will have AttributeResultIdentical EnergyNarrow line widthIdentical DirectionNarrow beam widthIdentical PhaseTemporal CoherenceIdentical PolarizationCoherently polarized light
7 Lasing in a pumped active medium In thermal equilibrium the stimulated emission is essentially negligible, since the density of electrons in the excited state is very small, and optical emission is mainly because of the spontaneous emission. Stimulated emission will exceed absorption only if the population of the excited states is greater than that of the ground state. This condition is known as Population Inversion. Population inversion is achieved by various pumping techniques.In a semiconductor laser, population inversion is accomplished by injecting electrons into the material to fill the lower energy states of the conduction band.
10 Fabry-Perot Resonator [4-18]R: reflectance of the optical intensity, k: optical wavenumber
11 Fabry-Perot Lasing Cavity A Fabry-Perot cavity consists of two flat, partially reflecting mirrors that establish a strong longitudinal optical oscillator feedback mechanism, thereby creating a light-emitting function.The distance between the adjacent peaks of the resonant wavelengths in a Fabry-Perot cavity is the modal separation. If L is the distance between the reflecting mirrors & the refractive index is n, then at a peak wavelength λ the MS is given by
13 Laser Diode Characteristics Nanosecond & even picosecond response time (GHz BW)Spectral width of the order of nm or lessHigh output power (tens of mW)Narrow beam (good coupling to single mode fibers)Laser diodes have three distinct radiation modes namely, longitudinal, lateral and transverse modes.In laser diodes, end mirrors provide strong optical feedback in longitudinal direction, so by roughening the edges and cleaving the facets, the radiation can be achieved in longitudinal direction rather than lateral direction.
14 Laser Operation & Lasing Condition To determine the lasing condition and resonant frequencies, we should focus on the optical wave propagation along the longitudinal direction, z-axis. The optical field intensity, I, can be written as:Lasing is the condition at which light amplification becomes possible by virtue of population inversion. Then, stimulated emission rate into a given EM mode is proportional to the intensity of the optical radiation in that mode. In this case, the loss and gain of the optical field in the optical path determine the lasing condition.The radiation intensity of a photon at energy varies exponentially with a distance z amplified by factor g, and attenuated by factor according to the following relationship:
19 Semiconductor laser rate equations Rate equations relate the optical output power, or # of photons per unit volume, , to the diode drive current or # of injected electrons per unit volume, n. For active (carrier confinement) region of depth d, the rate equations are:
20 Threshold current Density & excess electron density At the threshold of lasing:The threshold current needed to maintain a steady state threshold concentration of the excess electron, is found from electron rate equation under steady state condition dn/dt=0 when the laser is just about to lase:
21 Laser operation beyond the threshold The solution of the rate equations [4-25] gives the steady state photon density, resulting from stimulated emission and spontaneous emission as follows:
22 External quantum efficiency Number of photons emitted per radiative electron-hole pair recombination above threshold, gives us the external quantum efficiency.Note that:
23 Laser P-I Characteristics (Static) External EfficiencyDepends on the slopeThreshold Current
24 Laser Optical Output vs. Drive Current Relationship between optical output and laser diode drive current. Below the lasing threshold the optical output is a spontaneous LED-type emission.Slope efficiency = dP/dIThe laser efficiency changes with temperature:20° C30° C40° COptical output50° CEfficiencydecreases
25 Modulation of Optical Sources Optical sources can be modulated either directly or externally.Direct modulation is done by modulating the driving current according to the message signal (digital or analog)In external modulation, the laser is emits continuous wave (CW) light and the modulation is done in the fiber
26 Why ModulationA communication link is established by transmission of information reliablyOptical modulation is embedding the information on the optical carrier for this purposeThe information can be digital (1,0) or analog (a continuous waveform)The bit error rate (BER) is the performance measure in digital systemsThe signal to noise ratio (SNR) is the performance measure in analog systems
27 Direct ModulationThe message signal (ac) is superimposed on the bias current (dc) which modulates the laserRobust and simple, hence widely usedIssues: laser resonance frequency, chirp, turn on delay, clipping and laser nonlinearity
28 Light Source Linearity In an analog system, a time-varying electric analog signal modulates an optical source directly about a bias current IB.With no signal input, the optical power output is Pt. When an analog signal s(t) is applied, the time-varying (analog) optical output is: P(t) = Pt[1 + m s(t)], where m = modulation indexFor LEDs IB’ = IBFor laser diodes IB’ = IB – IthLaserdiodeLED
29 Modulation of Laser Diodes Internal Modulation: Simple but suffers from non-linear effects.External Modulation: for rates greater than 2 Gb/s, more complex, higher performance.Most fundamental limit for the modulation rate is set by the photon life time in the laser cavity:Another fundamental limit on modulation frequency is the relaxation oscillation frequency given by:
30 Laser Digital Modulation OpticalPower(P)P(t)tIthI1I2Current (I)I(t)t
31 Input current Electron density Output optical power Assume step input steadily increases until threshold value is reachedOutput optical powerStarts to increase only after the electrons reach the thresholdI1TurnonDelay(td)Resonance Freq.(fr)
32 Turn on Delay (lasers)When the driving current suddenly jumps from low (I1 < Ith) to high (I2 > Ith) , (step input), there is a finite time before the laser will turn onThis delay limits bit rate in digital systemsCan you think of any solution?
33 Relaxation Oscillation For data rates of less than approximately 10 Gb/s (typically 2.5 Gb/s), the process of imposing information on a laser-emitted light stream can be realized by direct modulation.The modulation frequency can be no larger than the frequency of the relaxation oscillations of the laser fieldThe relaxation oscillation occurs at approximately
34 The Modulated Spectrum Twice the RF frequencyTwo sidebands each separated by modulating frequency
35 Limitations of Direct Modulation Turn on delay and resonance frequency are the two major factors that limit the speed of digital laser modulationSaturation and clipping introduces nonlinear distortion with analog modulation (especially in multi carrier systems)Nonlinear distortions introduce higher order inter modulation distortions (IMD3, IMD5…)Chirp: Laser output wavelength drift with modulating current is also another issue
36 Laser NoiseModal (speckel) Noise: Fluctuations in the distribution of energy among various modes.Mode partition Noise: Intensity fluctuations in the longitudinal modes of a laser diode, main source of noise in single mode fiber systems.Reflection Noise: Light output gets reflected back from the fiber joints into the laser, couples with lasing modes, changing their phase, and generate noise peaks. Isolators & index matching fluids can eliminate these reflections.
38 External ModulationWhen direct modulation is used in a laser transmitter, the process of turning the laser on and off with an electrical drive current produces a widening of the laser linewidth referred to as chirpThe optical source injects a constant-amplitude light signal into an external modulator. The electrical driving signal changes the optical power that exits the external modulator. This produces a time-varying optical signal.The electro-optical (EO) phase modulator (also called a Mach-Zehnder Modulator or MZM) typically is made of LiNbO3.
47 Transmitter PackagesThere are a variety of transmitter packages for different applications.One popular transmitter configuration is the butterfly package.This device has an attached fiber fly lead and components such as the diode laser, a monitoring photodiode, and a thermoelectric cooler.
48 Transmitter PackagesThree standard fiber optic transceiver packages