For radio-over-fiber links, microwave-modulated optical carriers with high optical modulation depth are preferred because high optical modulation depth allows generation of high microwave power after photodetection, leading to high detection sensitivity, long transmission distance, and large link gain. This study investigates the period-one nonlinear dynamics of semiconductor lasers for optical modulation depth improvement to achieve photonic microwave amplification through modulation sideband enhancement. In our scheme, only typical semiconductor lasers are required as the amplification unit. The amplification is achieved for a broad microwave range, from less than 25 GHz to more than 60 GHz, and for a wide gain range, from less than 10 dB to more than 30 dB. The microwave phase quality is mainly preserved while the microwave power is largely amplified, improving the signal-to-noise ratio up to at least 25 dB. The bit-error ratio at 1.25 Gbits/s is better than 10−9, and a sensitivity improvement of up to at least 15 dB is feasible.
© 2013 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article