Lossless microwave photonic delay line using a ring resonator with an integrated semiconductor optical amplifer

Yiwei Xie, Leimeng Zhuang, Klaus-Jochen Boller, Arthur James Lowery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
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Optical delay lines implemented in photonic integrated circuits (PICs) are essential for creating robust and low-cost optical signal processors on miniaturized chips. In particular, tunable delay lines enable a key feature of programmability for the on-chip processing functions. However, the previously investigated tunable delay lines are plagued by a severe drawback of delay-dependent loss due to the propagation loss in the constituent waveguides. In principle, a serial-connected amplifier can be used to compensate such losses or perform additional amplitude manipulation. However, this solution is generally unpractical as it introduces additional burden on chip area and power consumption, particularly for large-scale integrated PICs. Here, we report an integrated tunable delay line that overcomes the delay-dependent loss, and simultaneously allows for independent manipulation of group delay and amplitude responses. It uses a ring resonator with a tunable coupler and a semiconductor optical amplifier in the feedback path. A proof-of-concept device with a free spectral range of 11.5 GHz and a delay bandwidth in the order of 200 MHz is discussed in the context of microwave photonics and is experimentally demonstrated to be able to provide a lossless delay up to 1.1 to a 5 ns Gaussian pulse. The proposed device can be designed for different frequency scales with potential for applications across many other areas such as telecommunications, LIDAR, and spectroscopy, serving as a novel building block for creating chip-scale programmable optical signal processors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number065802
JournalJournal of optics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2017


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