Abstract

Resonator-enhanced electro-optic (RE-EO) frequency comb generators produce broad combs by coupling an optical field to a resonator containing a phase modulator driven at a harmonic of the resonator free spectral range (FSR). Recent advances in integration technologies have opened up the possibility of fabricating low-loss, efficient, and tunable ring-based RE-EO comb generators. In this work, we analyze the properties of a canonical ring-based RE-EO comb generator and propose a new dual-ring comb generator to increase comb conversion efficiency, an especially important characteristic for comb-based optical communications systems. After a brief review of RE-EO comb generator properties in the case of resonant operation, i.e., when the optical frequency and the modulation frequency are harmonics of the resonator FSR, we analyze the effect of input optical phase noise and modulation phase noise on the resulting comb. Additionally, we show analytically that in non-resonant operation the optical frequency offset and the modulation frequency offset can be much larger than the linewidth of the resonator, increasing the tolerance to fabrication errors. Then, we develop and validate numerical models to predict the output spectrum in the presence of dispersive waveguides, which cannot be modeled analytically. Using these accurate models, we analyze a dual-ring RE-EO comb generator that uses a small coupling ring to increase the conversion efficiency to 32%, compared to the 1.3% efficiency of a single-ring RE-EO comb generator. We then analyze a point-to-point inter-data center optical link and determine that a dual-ring RE-EO comb generator can support high-capacity coherent links at 20 Tb/s per fiber.

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