Abstract

An approach is proposed to generating return-to-zero (RZ) and carrier-suppressed return-to-zero (CS-RZ) pulse trains with a high and tunable repetition rate by using a polarization modulator (PolM). The PolM is a special phase modulator that can support both TE and TM modes with opposite phase modulation indices. A linearly polarized cw light with its polarization state oriented with an angle of 45° to one principal axis of the PolM is modulated by a sinusoidal signal at the PolM. The output light from the PolM is then sent to a polarization beam splitter (PBS), with one axis of the PBS aligned at an angle of 45° to one principle axis of the PolM. At the two outputs of the PBS, two optical signals with one consisting of the even-order optical sidebands and the other consisting of the odd-order optical sidebands are obtained, leading to the generation of an RZ and a CS-RZ pulse train having a repetition rate that is twice the frequency of the drive sinusoidal signal. The proposed approach is demonstrated by a proof-of-concept experiment in which an RZ and a CS-RZ pulse train with tunable repetition rates of 7.2 and 8GHz are generated.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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