Frequency comb distillation for optical superchannel transmission
preprintposted on 2023-01-12, 14:17 authored by Chawaphon Prayoonyong, Andreas Boes, Xingyuan Xu, Mengxi Tan, Sai T. Chu, Brent E. Little, Roberto Morandotti, Arnan Mitchell, David J. Moss, Bill Corcoran
Optical frequency combs can potentially provide an efficient light source for multi-terabit-per-second optical superchannels. However, as the bandwidth of these multi-wavelength light sources is increased, it can result in low per-line power. Optical amplifiers can be used to overcome power limitations, but the accompanying spontaneous optical noise can degrade performance in optical systems. To overcome this, we demonstrate wideband noise reduction for comb lines using a high-Q microring resonator whose resonances align with the comb lines, providing tight optical filtering of multiple combs lines at the same time. By distilling an optical frequency comb in this way, we are able to reduce the required comb line OSNR when these lines are used in a coherent optical communications system. Through performance tests on a 19.45-GHz-spaced comb generating 71 lines, using 18 Gbaud, 64-QAM sub-channels at a spectral efficiency of 10.6 b/s/Hz, we find that noise-corrupted comb lines can reduce the optical signal-to-noise ratio required for the comb by ~ 9 dB when used as optical carriers at the transmitter side, and by ~ 12 dB when used as a local oscillator at the receiver side. This demonstration provides a method to enable low power optical frequency combs to be able to support high bandwidth and high-capacity communications.