Abstract

We propose and experimentally demonstrate a parity–time (PT)-symmetric frequency-tunable optoelectronic oscillator (OEO) in which the PT symmetry is implemented based on a single dual-polarization optical loop. By employing the inherent birefringence of a z-cut lithium niobate (${{\rm LiNbO}_3}$) phase modulator (PM), two mutually coupled optoelectronic loops supporting orthogonally polarized light waves with one experiencing a gain and the other a loss are implemented. By controlling the gain, loss, and the coupling coefficients between the two loops, the PT symmetry breaking condition is met, which enables the OEO to operate in single mode without using an ultranarrow passband optical or microwave filter. The frequency tunability is realized using a microwave photonic filter (MPF) implemented using the PM and a phase-shifted fiber Bragg grating (PS-FBG). The proposed PT-symmetric OEO is experimentally evaluated. A stable and frequency-tunable microwave signal from 2 to 12 GHz is generated. The phase noise of the generated signal at 11.8 GHz is measured, which is ${-}{124}\;{\rm dBc/Hz}$ at a frequency offset of 10 kHz.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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