Abstract

We present a modified model for residual intensity modulation (RIM) observed in lithium niobate phase modulators, which is suitable for both narrow linewidth and wide linewidth lasers. This model is based on two key points leading to RIM: one is the optical propagation loss, which is proportional to the applied voltage, and the other is the interference between an injected wave and its reflection from the lithium niobate substrate. In order to verify the model, the RIM is measured accurately with different linewidths of input lasers respectively. The experimental results are in good agreement with the theoretical model as the values of fitting determination coefficient R-square are all above 0.995. The results have revealed that the chief reasons causing RIM are different. When using a narrow linewidth laser, the interference is the dominant reason leading to RIM as the ratio of the reflection-related coefficient including linewidth effects to optical loss reaches 34.33. However, the optical loss is the dominant reason leading to RIM with the ratio mentioned above reaching 0.31 when using a wide linewidth laser.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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