A novel electrically switchable optical ultrawideband (UWB) pulse generator that is capable of generating both Gaussian monocycle and Gaussian doublet pulses by using a polarization modulator (PolM) and a fiber Bragg grating is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. The polarity and the shape of the generated UWB pulses can be electrically switched by adjusting the voltages applied to two arbitrary wave plates (AWPs), which are incorporated at the input and the output of the PolM to adjust the polarization state of the lightwaves. The key component in the UWB pulse generator is the PolM, which is a special phase modulator that can support both transverse electric and transverse magnetic modes but with opposite phase modulation indexes. Depending on the polarization state of the incident lightwave to the PolM that is linearly polarized and aligned to one principle axis of the PolM or circularly polarized, UWB monocycle or doublet pulses are generated. The polarity of the UWB pulses can be electrically switched by adjusting the voltages applied to the AWPs. The proposed system is implemented, and the generation of UWB monocycle and doublet pulses is experimentally demonstrated. Gaussian monocycle and doublet pulses with a fractional bandwidth of about 150% and 160% are experimentally generated. The proposed electrically switchable optical UWB pulse generator has the potential for applications in UWB communications and radar systems that employ pulse polarity modulation and pulse shape modulation schemes.
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