If we are to significantly increase the transmission speed of optical networks, the impact of higher order dispersion must be clarified. This paper gives general expressions that describe pulse broadening due to even and odd higher order dispersion in a single-mode fiber. The intrinsic impulsive responses for even order dispersion (beyond the second order) are characterized by symmetrical waveforms with long trailing skirts, whereas the responses for odd orders show asymmetrical strongly oscillating waveforms. The transmission limits are also analytically obtained for each higher Nth order that induces intersymbol interference. Transmission lengths are limited by the factor of 1/B0n where B0 is the bit rate and N is the dispersion order.


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