Reflection and Rayleigh backscattering-induced interferometric crosstalk in a link employing a reflective semiconductor optical amplifier (RSOA) may cause significant power penalty and, thus, limit the performance of the system. In this paper, we investigate interferometric crosstalk suppression in a centralized light generation wavelength division multiplexing-passive optical network (WDM-PON) by single-tone phase modulation either by utilizing the nonlinear behavior of the RSOA at the optical network unit (ONU) or by applying an external phase modulator at the source side. 6- and 7-dB reduction in power penalty for reflection-induced crosstalk is achieved, respectively. For Rayleigh backscattering-induced crosstalk power penalty is improved with 3 and 4.5 dB, respectively. The results show that an RSOA is very sensitive to reflections and backscattering and the tolerance to these impairments can be significantly improved by appropriate phase modulation. A comparison with advantages and disadvantages of both methods together with final recommendation is also given in the paper.
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