Optical Fiber Delay Lines in Microwave Photonics: Sensitivity to Temperature and Means to Reduce it

Meng Ding, Zitong Feng*, David Marpaung, Xi Zhang, Matej Komanec, Dmytro Suslov, Daniel Dousek, Stanislav Zvanovec, Eric R.Numkam Fokoua, Thomas D. Bradley, Francesco Poletti, David J. Richardson, Radan Slavik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


One of the key functionalities in microwave photonics is to be able to define controllable time delays during the signal processing. Optical fibers are often used to achieve this functionality, especially when a long delay or a widely-tunable delay is needed. However, the stability of this delay in the presence of environmental changes (e.g., temperature) has not, to the best of our knowledge, been reviewed yet. Here, we firstly discuss the impact of temperature-induced variations on the signal propagation time in optical fibers and its implications in microwave photonics. We compare the impact of the thermal sensitivity of various delay lines for applications in which the signal is transported from point A to point B, as well as for applications in which the propagation time through a fiber or the fiber dispersion is used to create a fixed or tunable delay. In the second part of the article we show the impact of fiber thermal sensitivity on a narrow-band microwave photonics filter made of standard single mode fiber (SSMF) and a hollow core fiber (HCF), which has significantly lower thermal sensitivity of propagation time to temperature. The central frequency of the band-pass filter changes almost 16 times more in the filter made of SSMF as compared to that of HCF, dictating very tight (0.05 °C) temperature stabilization for SSMF-based filters. On the basis of our thermal sensitivity analysis we conclude that HCFs are very promising for environmentally stable microwave photonics applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9328293
Pages (from-to)2311-2318
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of lightwave technology
Issue number8
Early online date18 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2021


  • Fabry-Perot
  • Microwave filters
  • Microwave photonics
  • Optical fiber applications


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