Accurate direct modulation of laser currents yields breakthrough in optical fiber communications

Accurate direct modulation of laser currents yields breakthrough in optical fiber communications

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

The approach that enables direct modulation of laser currents to be used to generate highly advanced modulation format signals. The technology, patented by the University of Southampton and licensed to Eblana Photonics Inc, avoids the need for costly and power-inefficient external modulator schemes that are currently used to generate such signals. The research has been published in the journal Nature Communications.

Dr Radan Slavik, Principal Research Fellow at the ORC, said: "Our paper highlights the exquisite control that we have achieved over the optical field generated directly from a current-modulated semiconductor laser."

Direct current modulated lasers are of huge commercial relevance and are already widely used in optical communications, telecommunications and sensor and high power fibre laser systems. However, the inability to accurately control the full optical field emitted directly from such lasers has been a fundamental problem limiting applications.

Dr Slavik explains: "The new capability we have demonstrated will be of relevance and could be of significant impact within many scientific and engineering communities that are directly concerned with or exploit laser radiation.

A constellation diagram of one of the mainstream modulation formats of the future system: Sixteen Quadrature-Amplitude modulation. Image: University of Southampton.

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