Abstract

An extinction-ratio-independent electrical method is proposed for measuring chirp parameters of Mach–Zehnder electric-optic intensity modulators based on frequency-shifted optical heterodyne. The method utilizes the electrical spectrum analysis of the heterodyne products between the intensity modulated optical signal and the frequency-shifted optical carrier, and achieves the intrinsic chirp parameters measurement at microwave region with high-frequency resolution and wide-frequency range for the Mach–Zehnder modulator with a finite extinction ratio. Moreover, the proposed method avoids calibrating the responsivity fluctuation of the photodiode in spite of the involved photodetection. Chirp parameters as a function of modulation frequency are experimentally measured and compared to those with the conventional optical spectrum analysis method. Our method enables an extinction-ratio-independent and calibration-free electrical measurement of Mach–Zehnder intensity modulators by using the high-resolution frequency-shifted heterodyne technique.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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