We have proposed, analyzed, and demonstrated a high-isolation photonic microwave mixer using an integrated, dual-stage balanced-bridge Mach-Zehnder modulator. The proposed balanced photonic microwave mixer provides not only high isolation between radio frequency (RF) signal and local oscillator (LO) ports, but also excellent isolation between intermediate frequency (IF) and RF/LO ports without any filters. In this paper, the structure, principle,and operation settings are discussed in detail. Experimental results showed >60 dB electrical isolation between RF and LO ports and > 50~dB isolation between IF and RF/LO ports in a demonstrative photonic microwave mixer. This device can extend the bandwidth of a modulator and have wide applications in RF photonic links where RF signal conversion and processing are required.
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