High extinction ratio mach-zehnder modulator applied to a highly stable optical signal generator

Hitoshi Kiuchi*, Tetsuya Kawanishi, Masumi Yamada, Takahide Sakamoto, Masahiro Tsuchiya, Jun Amagai, Masayuki Izutsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)


Research into optical modulators has made remarkable progress in recent years. This paper discusses the possibility of applying the high extinction ratio optical modulator to a high-stability and high-frequency (over 100 GHz) optical reference signal generator. High-frequency reference signals are generated by a highly stable optical two-tone generator, which is used for high-rate communication and astronomical application. One method to generate two optical signals is producing them from a pair of laser sources using an optical phase-locked loop for feed back control; however, the optical phase-locked loop has a stability problem in its operation. A good alternative method to the optical phase-locked scheme is the LiNbO3 Mach-Zehnder (MZ) optical intensity modulator, which is capable of generating two highly stable optical signals (upper sideband and lower sideband components) by applying a sinusoidal microwave signal to an input laser signal. The two optical signals require phase stability better than 10-13 in the Allan standard deviation, vibration robustness, and polarization maintaining capability. The signal coherence loss estimated from the phase stability of the two optical signals generated by the MZ modulator shows that the optical MZ modulator has the ability to generate highly stable optical signals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1964-1971
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sept
Externally publishedYes


  • Allan variance
  • High-frequency signal generator
  • Lithium niobate Mach-Zehnder (MZ) modulator
  • Phase stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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