Abstract

Through theoretical analysis and experiment, we show that the performance of an ultrafast optical delay line using a time-prism pair is significantly improved when solition propagation is used between time-prisms. The enhancement is most dramatic for short pulses where dispersive pulse broadening in a linear propagation regime between time-prisms is large and limits perfomance. Experimentally, we demonstrate an optical delay line using soliton propagation in an all-fiber configuration allowing us to achieve a scan rate of 0.5 GHz, a delay range of 33.0 ps, no pre- and post-dispersion compensation, and a delay-to-pulse-width ratio of 6.0.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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References

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Figures (6)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Optical path of previous ultrafast delay line using linear propagation and pre- and post-dispersion compensation (pre- and post-comp). Evolution of the optical pulse and carrier frequency is shown above. The black curves represent the linear portion of the sinusoidal phase profile imposed by the time-prisms; PM: phase modulator.

Fig 2.
Fig 2.

Delay-to-pulse-width ratio, R as a function of input pulse width for two contours of fractional nonlinearity, NL=5% (blue curves) and NL=30% (red curves). The linear propagation regime is shown by the dashed curve, and the soliton propagation regime is shown by the solid curves. The peak-to-peak drive voltage and modulation frequency are fixed to 5.24 Vπ and 10 GHz respectively.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

(a) A schematic of a spatial prism-pair demonstrating the space-time analogy [6,7]. (b) Experimental setup. The phase modulators (PM1) and (PM2) are each driven with a 10 GHz sinusoid whose amplitude is modulated by a 0.5 GHz sinusoid through an RF modulator. The operation of the time-prisms and the evolution of the carrier frequency are indicated. Both Δτ and the pulse width are small portions of the phase modulation period so that the phase modulation can be approximated by a linear phase ramp.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

(a) Spectra corresponding to different amounts of average power into the 2.88 km of SMF-28. The average power and corresponding temporal pulse widths are written on the respective curves. The dashed blue curve corresponds to the original spectrum. All spectra are taken at 0.05 nm resolution bandwidth (RBW). (b) Oscilloscope time traces for different propagation regimes. The dashed blue curve corresponds to the time trace of the input pulse.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Evolution of optical spectra through the ultrafast delay-line using soliton propagation: original spectra (dashed blue curves); after PM1 (solid black curves); after PM2 (solid red curves). All spectra were taken at 0.05 nm RBW.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

(a) Oscilloscope time trace demonstrating rapid scanning of delays. The dashed grid lines represent the original position of pulses with no phase modulation. (b) Delay Δτ as a function time obtained from (a). The solid curve is the 0.5 GHz modulation. The impulse response of the scope is ~17.0 ps.

Equations (5)

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Δ τ = Δ λ · D = ( π 2 λ 2 2 π c V p p V π 1 T m ) · D .
σ = 1 + ( λ 2 2 π c D 2 T o 2 ) 2 ,
T o σ + Δ τ < T Lin .
R = π 2 V p p V π β ln 2 [ 1 + 2 π 2 V p p V π T o T m ] 1 .
R = 1 2 ln 2 ( β T m T o 1 ) ,

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