Coherent optical orthogonal frequency-division multiplexed (OFDM) systems must be carefully designed to minimize the detrimental impact of fiber nonlinearity manifested through four-wave mixing (FWM). Because of the small subcarrier spacing associated with OFDM, a significant fraction of FWM processes is well matched, resulting in a rapid buildup of FWM light with propagation distance. In this paper, we consider optical phase conjugation (OPC) as an approach to suppress such well-matched FWM processes. An analytical formula accurately predicting the degree of suppression is derived and discussed. It is shown that when combined with the methods previously proposed in the literature, the application of OPC can dramatically reduce the overall FWM power accumulated within the link for a wide range of crucial design parameters.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
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