Article | Published:

Ultrabroad-bandwidth arbitrary radiofrequency waveform generation with a silicon photonic chip-based spectral shaper

Nature Photonics volume 4, pages 117122 (2010) | Download Citation

Abstract

Ultrabroad-bandwidth radiofrequency pulses offer significant applications potential, such as increased data transmission rate and multipath tolerance in wireless communications. Such ultrabroad-bandwidth pulses are inherently difficult to generate with chip-based electronics due to limits in digital-to-analog converter technology and high timing jitter. Photonic means of radiofrequency waveform generation, for example, by spectral shaping and frequency–time mapping, can overcome the bandwidth limit in electronic generation. However, previous bulk optic systems for radiofrequency arbitrary waveform generation do not offer the integration advantage of electronics. Here, we report a chip-scale, fully programmable spectral shaper consisting of cascaded multiple-channel microring resonators, on a silicon photonics platform that is compatible with electronic integrated circuit technology. Using such a spectral shaper, we demonstrate the generation of burst radiofrequency waveforms with programmable time-dependent amplitude, frequency and phase profiles, for frequencies up to 60 GHz. Our demonstration suggests potential for chip-scale photonic generation of ultrabroad-bandwidth arbitrary radiofrequency waveforms.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Li Fan for experimental assistance and for helpful discussions. The work was supported by the National Sciences Foundation under contract no. ECCS-0701448, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency under contract no. HDTRA1-07-C-0042 and by the Naval Postgraduate School under grant no. N00244-09-1-0068 under the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship program. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors.

Author information

Author notes

    • Shijun Xiao

    Present address: Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.

    • Maroof H. Khan
    •  & Hao Shen

    These authors contributed equally to this work

Affiliations

  1. Birck Nanotechnology Centre, Purdue University, 1205 West State Street, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA

    • Maroof H. Khan
    • , Hao Shen
    • , Yi Xuan
    • , Lin Zhao
    • , Shijun Xiao
    • , Daniel E. Leaird
    • , Andrew M. Weiner
    •  & Minghao Qi
  2. Department of Physics, Purdue University, 525 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA

    • Maroof H. Khan
  3. School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, 465 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA

    • Hao Shen
    • , Yi Xuan
    • , Lin Zhao
    • , Shijun Xiao
    • , Daniel E. Leaird
    • , Andrew M. Weiner
    •  & Minghao Qi

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Contributions

M.H.K. led the fabrication of the spectral shaper chip with assistance from Y.X. and L.Z. H.S. set up the characterization apparatus and conducted the waveform generation and measurement with assistance from S.X. and D.E.L. M.Q. and A.M.W. conceived the idea and supervised the study. M.Q., A.M.W. and H.S. wrote the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Andrew M. Weiner or Minghao Qi.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2009.266

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