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IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS, VOL. 19, NO.

4, JULY/AUGUST 2013

1100510

Harmonic Mode-Locking of 10-GHz Directly


Modulated Weak-Resonant-Cavity FabryPerot
Laser Diode in Self-Feedback Fiber Ring
Yi-Cheng Lee, Yu-Chieh Chi, Cheng-Ting Tsai, Yung-Hsiang Lin, and Gong-Ru Lin, Senior Member, IEEE

AbstractHarmonic mode-locking of a directly modulated


weak-resonant-cavity FabryPerot laser diode (WRC-FPLD) at
10 GHz via the self-feedback of a fiber ring is demonstrated.
The WRC-FPLD directly modulated at 10 GHz simultaneously
functions as the gain medium and the active mode-locker in the
self-feedback ring. The competition between the gain-switched lasing mechanism inside the WRC-FPLD and the harmonic modelocking mechanism of the incorporated self-feedback fiber ring
is monitored. The enhanced mode-locking force can be achieved
at self-feedback ratio of 90% and modulation power of 28 dBm.
The evolution of pulsating dynamics is dependent with modulation frequency, which enhances the mode-locking and shortens
the pulsewidth at the longitudinal mode spacing. A mode-locking
theory is used to simulate the coupled-cavity self-injected WRCFPLD fiber ring. When the lasing mechanism transfers from intracavity gain-switching to intercavity harmonic mode-locking,
the longitudinal mode of the WRC-FPLD is broadened with the
mode extinction reduced from maximum to minimum. Due to the
transformation from the gain-switching to harmonic mode-locking,
the coupled-cavity self-feedback WRC-FPLD fiber ring delivers a
pulsewidth of 22 ps, a timing jitter of 153 fs, a pulse extinction
ratio of 13.65 dB, and a spectral linewidth of 7.6 nm, by setting the
WRC-FPLD bias at three times above threshold (60 mA) and the
intracavity feedback ratio of 90%.
Index TermsCoupled cavity, direct modulation, fiber ring,
gain-switching, harmonic mode-locking (HML), self-feedback,
weak-resonant-cavity.

I. INTRODUCTION
HE optical time-division multiplexing (OTDM) technique is considered as one alternative to construct nextgeneration high-speed all-optical-fiber networks [1], [2]. The
optical pulsed carrier with good stability and low amplitude jitter is a mandatory source for the OTDM system [3][5], which
can be generated from laser diodes or fiber lasers using gainswitching [6][8], Q-switching [9], and mode-locking [10][12]

Manuscript received October 31, 2012; revised December 5, 2012; accepted


December 10, 2012. This work was supported by the National Science Council
under Grant NSC98-2221-E-002-023-MY3, Grant NSC 100-2221-E-002-156MY3, Grant NSC 101-2221-E-002-071-MY3, and Grant NSC101-2622-E-002009-CC2.
The authors are with the Graduate Institute of Photonics and Optoelectronics,
National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan (e-mail: letsgo7681@gmail.
com; d96941016@ntu.edu.tw; d01941024@ntu.edu.tw; d97941015@ntu.edu.
tw; grlin@ntu.edu.tw).
Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online
at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/JSTQE.2012.2236823

technologies. Among these approaches, the ultrafast optical


pulse with a high repetition rate and a low timing jitter obtained
by the mode-locking technique has been considered as the best
candidate [13], [14]. Both active mode-locking (AML) and passive mode-locking (PML) effect can be employed; however,
a large phase noise would be caused in a PML laser without
synchronization [15], [16]. In view of previous works for the
OTDM network, the 10-GHz optical pulse train generated by
the AML of fiber lasers has been widely investigated. With the
use of an erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) or a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) as the gain medium, versatile
modulation techniques have been reported to initiate the AML
in fiber lasers [17][20]. Although the optical pulsation can be
easily obtained by using external modulation via an integrated
electrooptic or electroabsorption modulator [21], [22], the exceptional cost of the modulator and the driving circuitry needs
to be considered [23]. Although the laser diode has ever been
treated as one alternative of optical pulsed source to get rid of extra modulator in cavity, the 10-GHz direct-modulation-induced
gain-switching or mode-locking of laser diode is relatively difficult to be implemented without specific contact electrode design.
A limitation on repetition rate is set due to the finite modulation
bandwidth by both the electrode and the gain medium [24].
Previously, the mode-locking of a directly modulation SOA
fiber ring laser was reported with its repetition rate limited at
1 GHz [23], which restricts the SOA to operate at higher repetition rate because of the limitation on the modulation bandwidth
of the SOA [25] when comparing with the laser diode. The highspeed directly modulated EDFA meets the same obstacle due to
its long carrier lifetime [26]. When considering the conventional
FabryPerot laser diode (FPLD), its modulation bandwidth is
still below 10 GHz even though this is already larger than that
of the SOA [27]. In addition, the conventional FPLD with a
highly reflective cavity does not favor the self-feedback injection, which also results in a strong cavity mode with extremely
high frequency of longitudinal mode spacing. These become
the detrimental factors for mode-locking the FPLD incorporated fiber-ring laser. Other than this, the theoretical prediction on the flattened intensity modulation response of a FPLD
with extending direct-modulation bandwidth under strong external injection has been reported [28]. A recent publication
also confirms the possibility via a dual-mode external injection
technique [29]. In comparison with the typical FPLD, a newly
proposed weak-resonant-cavity FPLD (WRC-FPLD) with 90%
rear and 1% front facet reflectivity is a potential candidate.
The WRC-FPLD releases the strong cavity effect to reduce one

1077-260X/$31.00 2013 IEEE

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IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS, VOL. 19, NO. 4, JULY/AUGUST 2013

Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of the self-feedback HML WRC-FPLD. RFS:


radio frequency synthesizer, Amp: power amplifier, OC: optical circulator, PC:
polarization controller, EDFA: erbium-doped fiber amplifier.

end-face reflectance of the FPLD cavity and effectively facilitates the external feedback injection, which is suitable for
establishing the external-cavity mode-locking due to its relatively wider gain spectrum and weaker mode selectivity. Unfortunately, the modulating frequency of such a WRC-FPLD is
previously reported to limit at 2.488 Gb/s [30]. Although the
broadband modulation with a digital data stream can still be
worked effectively by enlarging its throughput power and compensating its decayed frequency slope, such a high-power and
slope-compensated microwave amplifier for broadband digital
signal is too difficult to be accessed, and the power budget is too
high.
In this paper, the coupled-cavity and self-feedback architecture for harmonic mode-locking (HML) such a WRC-FPLD
is employed to exceed its modulation bandwidth over 10 GHz.
The pulsewidth, timing jitter, pulse extinction ratio, and spectral
linewidth of the HML output from such a self-feedback coupledcavity WRC-FPLD fiber ring by adjusting the biased current,
RF modulation power, and the feedback ratio of the WRCFPLD and coupled fiber ring are demonstrated. Subsequently,
the theoretical model of the self-feedback mode-locked system
is established to analyze the parametric tooling effects. The
evolution on optical spectrum of the self-feedback WRC-FPLD
fiber ring from gain-switching to the mode-locking regime and
the feature of significantly diminished WRC-FPLD longitudinal mode by mode-locking at an enlarged modulation depth and
optimized feedback ratio are measured and simulated. A significant broadening of the inherent single-mode linewidth with the
distinguished mode-locking operation is observed.
II. EXPERIMENTAL DETAILS
The experimental setup for self-feedback mode-locking the
WRC-FPLD directly modulated at 10 GHz is illustrated in Fig. 1
[31]. By using a WRC-FPLD with a threshold of 23 mA and a
longitudinal mode-spacing of 0.6 nm, the competition between
mechanisms of gain-switching and mode-locking in the WRCFPLD was investigated. The temperature and central wabelength
of the WRC-FPLD biased at 2.5 times of its threshold current
were controlled at 26 C and 1560 nm, respectively.
After passing through a power amplifier (Transcom TA085110-30-35) with a 35-dB gain, a microwave signal generated
from a commercial synthesizer (Agilent E8257C) with the frequency and power of 10 GHz and 4 dBm, respectively, was
applied to directly modulate the WRC-FPLD for further self-

feedback. The WRC-FPLD used in our work served as the gain


medium and the modulator in the coupled fiber ring simultaneously. Subsequently, an optical circulator and an optical coupler
were used for the self-feedback of the WRC-FPLD with beyond
bandwidth operation and control the feedback light for optimizing the 10-GHz optical pulsed carrier, respectively. In addition,
a polarization controller in the fiber ring was used to control
the polarization of the feedback light because the WRC-FPLD
is a polarization-dependent device. In experiment, the biased
current (ILX Lightwave LDC-3900) was detuned from 40 to
80 mA, RF power was increased from 16 to 28 dBm, and the
range of feedback ratio was increased from 10% to 90% for
optimizing the system operation.
III. THEORETICAL DETAILS
In principle, the AML of a directly modulated self-feedback
WRC-FPLD with different feedback ratios is established from
both the injection-locking and mode-locking models. The master equation of the mode-locking effect in time domain was
investigated by Haus [32]. On the other hand, the rate equations
of injection-locking laser diode are expressed as [27]
dN (t)
g a
i I(t)
=
[N (t) Ntr ] S(t) N N (t) +
,
dt
V
q


g a
dS(t)
=
(N (t) Ntr ) p S(t)
dt
V

(1)
+ 2 Sinj S(t) cos [(t)]
where N (t) is the carrier number, S(t) is the photo number, g
is the group velocity, a is the differential gain, V is the active
region volume, Ntr is the transparency carrier number, N and
P are the decay rates of photon and carrier, respectively, i is
the internal quantum efficiency, I(t) is the biased current, is
the confinement factor, q is the electron charge, is the coupling
rate, Sinj is the injected photo number, and (t) is the phase
of WRC-FPLD. Under a directly modulated and self-feedback
condition, the biased current can be defined with the aid of a sine
wave function in time domain as I(t) = Ibias + im sin(2fm t),
in which Ibias is the dc biased current, im is the peak modulation
current, and fm is the modulation frequency. Then, the term of
injection coupling rate can be described as = (1 R)0.5 /ld ,
where R is the mirror reflectance and ld is the round-trip time
in laser cavity. The steady-state solution of carrier number and
photon number could be solved as follows:

2 Rinj + p
inj
N0 =
V + Ntr Nth Ninj Nth
(2)
g a

(I
+ im )

 i bias

S0 = 
q
p 2 Rinj


2V 
p V

N Ntr +
Rinj . (3)
g a g a
In (2), the solution of carrier number under the steady-state
condition is clamped on the threshold, it can be defined as the
threshold carrier number with self-feedback injection power.
The loss modulation of AML is a periodical sine or cosine

LEE et al.: HARMONIC MODE-LOCKING OF 10-GHZ DIRECTLY MODULATED WEAK-RESONANT-CAVITY FABRYPEROT LASER DIODE

function with a maximal intracavity loss value of m , as given


by
m [1 cos (m t)] .

(4)

Equation (4) describes the peak gain and the loss modulation
in the coupled WRC-FPLD fiber ring cavity, and the definition for the operation of the directly modulated WRC-FPLD is
modified in our case:
M [1 cos (m t)] 2m [1 cos (m t)]

(5)

where the new description of modulation amplitude is M /2


because the modulation depth is correlated with optical field,
which must be limited from zero to one for avoiding the nonlinear modulation on laser diode. Therefore, the range of modulation depth can be written as

1
Shigh
=
(6)
1M
Slow
where Shigh is the maximal photon number within modulation
period, and Slow is the minimum photon number, which clearly
describes the dynamic range of the modulation. In order to easily
investigate the term of modulation for the WRC-FPLD directly
modulated with commercial RF synthesizer, the photon number
is replaced by the biased current from (3)

 in j 

I
i (I b i a s +i m )
N i Nt qh

q
1

=
 in j 
i It h
i (I b i a s i m )
1M

N
q
N q

=

inj
Ibias Ith
+ im
inj
Ibias Ith
im

(7)

Afterward, the modulation depth can be simply expressed


as follows, which has a clear relationship between the selffeedback injection power and the modulation current:

2im
M =1 1
.
(8)
inj
Ibias Ith
+ im
If the modulation current is set as the difference between the
biased current and the threshold current under the injectionlocking condition, the modulation depth reaches its maximum
of M = 1. The optical gain coefficient is described as
g =

g
g
g
=
=
I
P
S
1 + /Isat
1 + /Psat
1 + /Ssat

(9)

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where g  is the optical gain coefficient, g is the unsaturated


gain coefficient, I is the optical signal intensity, Isat is the
optical saturation intensity of the gain medium, and P and S
are the optical power and the photon number, respectively. The
unsaturated gain coefficient is defined as the change of carrier
number, which is also a function of driven current
a
a
i
inj
(10)
g = (N Ntr ) = (Ibias Ith
+ im )
V
V
N q
where a is the differential gain and Ntr is the transparency
carrier number which is combined with the change of threshold
current. Assuming that the single-pass integrated gain is g  lg
with lg denoting the length of active region, the pulsewidth
derived from Hauss master equation is modified as
  1/4 
1/2

4g lg
1
p = 2 2 ln 2
(11)
M
m g
where m is the modulation frequency and g is the gain bandwidth. Under the coupled-cavity and self-feedback injection
case, the complete solution of pulsewidth for the WRC-FPLD
fiber ring as a function of injection power ratio and modulation
driven current is described as, as shown (12), at the bottom of
this page.
Hereafter, two extreme cases are discussed to observe the
effect of power ratio and modulation current variation on
pulsewidth. Under insufficient modulation depth by assuming
that Ibias Ith,inj  im and Ssat  S0 , (12) can be simply
modified as

2 1/4

inj

1/2
I

bias
th
1

4alg i
p 2 2 ln 2
.

V N q
im
m g
(13)
Equation (13) clearly shows that the increasing injection
power ratio would cause pulse broadening. The residual amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) noise is left due to the insufficient modulation current. When increasing the injection power,
the additional ASE noise would be accumulated to weaken the
mode-locking force. Alternatively, when considering another
case with a sufficient modulation depth, the condition becomes
Ibias Ith,inj im and Ssat  S0 , (12) can be modified as

1/4 
1/2


4Ssat alg
1
(p 2 Rinj )/
p 2 2 ln 2
.
N V
m g
(14)
With the attenuation on ASE noise during each round trip,
the gain in the WRC-FPLD coupled fiber ring is completely


2 


 1/4

a
2V
64 2mln2g
Rinj + im Ni q
lg Ibias Ith + Ni q
V
a
g








i
N q 2V

I
+
R
+
i
I
/S
1 + 2 R
bias
th
inj
m
sat
q
i g a
( p
in j )

.
p =

2i

m


1
1 


2V
Ibias Ith + Ni q
R
+
i
inj
m
ga

(12)

1100510

IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS, VOL. 19, NO. 4, JULY/AUGUST 2013

Fig. 2. Optical spectra on the CW WRC-FPLD and HML of the self-feedback


structure.

depleted to form the perfect mode-locked pulse. Such an ideal


case with sufficient injection power facilitates the generation of
a shortened pulsewidth from a strong mode-locking force.
IV. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
A. Optimization of Optical Pulsation With Biased
Current and Feedback Ratio
According to laser diode theory, the relaxation resonance
frequency R of a laser diode is described as [33]

1/
2
vg a

i (Ibias Ith )
R = m =
qV

(15)

where denotes the confinement factor, vg the group velocity,


a the differential gain, q the electron charge, V is the active region volume, i the internal quantum efficiency, Ibias the biased
current. In (15), the threshold current Ith is proportional to the
cavity loss m as given by [33]


1
1
Ith m = ln
(16)
L
R1 R2
where L denotes the length of laser diode cavity and Ri the endface reflectance. Apparently, the threshold current increases with
decreasing reflectance, which reduces the relaxation oscillation
frequency and degrades the modulation bandwidth. Either the
increased bias or the enlarged injection feedback can shift the
relaxation oscillation to a higher frequency, as given by [34]


vg a
R
i
=
qV

I Ith

qV p
+
GN s

42 2 Sinj
(1 + 2 ) SL m

!"1/2

(17)
where GN denotes the optical confinement factor, p the photon
lifetime, s the spontaneous carrier lifetime, the coupling efficiency, the linewidth enhancement factor, Sinj the injection
photon number, and SL m the average output photon number. As
a result, the relaxation oscillation peak upshifts to a higher frequency as the front-face reflectance increases or the feedback
injection power enlarges. Both kinds of operations can provide a broadened modulation bandwidth with a more flattened
response. However, the conventional FPLD with a highly reflec-

Fig. 3. Pulsewidth and timing jitter of the self-feedback mode-locking WRCFPLD at different dc biases.

tive cavity does not favor the self-feedback injection, which also
results in a strong cavity mode with extremely high frequency of
longitudinal mode spacing. These become the detrimental factors for mode-locking the FPLD-incorporated fiber-ring laser.
The only way to release the strong cavity effect is to reduce one
end-face reflectance of the FPLD cavity; such a weak resonance
design effectively facilitates the external feedback injection. The
feedback injection further overcomes the slightly degraded modulation bandwidth caused by the reduced end-face reflectance.
Hence, the design of WRC-FPLD concurrently suppresses the
gain competition from FPLD cavity modes and improves the
modulation bandwidth.
In experiment, a 10-GHz HML pulse train generated from the
self-feedback WRC-FPLD is shown in the inset of Fig. 1. After
self-feedback mode-locking the WRC-FPLD at 10 GHz with
feedback ratio of 50% in the fiber ring, the original longitudinal
mode of the WRC-FPLD output is suppressed and the spectral
linewidth is broaden, as shown in Fig. 2 [31]. Such a change
on the optical spectrum is due to the competition of the WRCFPLD intracavity and the external fiber ring. Therefore, the
optical spectrum of self-feedback mode-locking WRC-FPLD
exhibits a longitudinal mode spacing of about 0.08 nm, which
is corresponded to the optical pulsed carrier of 10 GHz.
The influence on the pulsewidth and the timing jitter of the
optical pulsed carrier depends on the WRC-FPLD bias [35], and
it is discussed for optimizing the self-feedback mode-locking
WRC-FPLD output, as shown in Fig. 3. The relatively shortened
pulsewidth of 22 ps and a low timing jitter of 153 fs can be
observed at WRC-FPLD bias of 60 mA. If the biased current
of the WRC-FPLD is away from 60 mA, the degradation on
the pulsewidth and the timing jitter can be obtained because of
the worse mode-locking. Furthermore, the pulsewidth and the
timing jitter are increased to 38.8 and 1.55 ps with the enlarging
dc bias range of the WRC-FPLD from 60 to 80 mA, because
the excess carriers of the WRC-FPLD cannot be eliminated
to induce insufficient modulation depth. Relatively, the range
of the WRC-FPLD bias is decreased from 60 to 40 mA; the
pulsewidth and the timing jitter show the degraded trends due
to the limitation on the carrier recovery time.
To further verify the optimization on the self-feedback modelocking WRC-FPLD, the pulse extinction ratio and the spectral

LEE et al.: HARMONIC MODE-LOCKING OF 10-GHZ DIRECTLY MODULATED WEAK-RESONANT-CAVITY FABRYPEROT LASER DIODE

Fig. 4. Pulse extinction ratio and spectral linewidth of the self-feedback modelocking carrier at different WRC-FPLD dc biases.

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Fig. 6. Pulse extinction ratio and spectral linewidth of the self-feedback modelocking WRC-FPLD output versus feedback ratios.

back ratios are shown in Fig. 6. By increasing the feedback ratio


from 10% to 90%, the spectral linewidth obviously increases
from 1.2 to 7.6 nm, and the pulse extinction ratio is 13.65 dB.
The feedback power in the self-feedback mode-locking WRCFPLD fiber ring laser must be large enough to compete with the
intracavity power of the WRC-FPLD; otherwise, it is difficult
to obtain the best mode-locking.
Owing to the output power saturation effect of the WRCFPLD at constant bias current, the saturated intracavity gain
(gL) can be described as [36]

1
Pin
gL = g0 L 1 +
(18)
Psat
Fig. 5. Comparison on the pulsewidth and the timing jitter of the mode-locked
WRC-FPLD carrier with different feedback ratios.

linewidth of the mode-locking output are shown in Fig. 4. A


high pulse extinction ratio and a broad spectral linewidth of
13.65 dB and 7.6 nm are obtained at WRC-FPLD bias of 60 mA.
In particular, if the WRC-FPLD is biased above 60 mA, the pulse
extinction ratio degrades due to the excessive carriers induced
by an additional dc level. The mode-locking performance is
optimized when the off-level of the modulated RF signal is
coincident with the threshold current Ith of the WRC-FPLD at
about 20 mA. If the bias current of WRC-FPLD becomes lower
than 60 mA, part of the waveform of the modulated RF signal
falls below the threshold condition and is cut by the limitation of
Ith . This effectively degrades the extinction ratio and spectral
linewidth of the mode-locked WRC-FPLD incorporated fiber
ring laser as long as the dc bias decreases to make the modulated
RF waveform cut by the threshold condition. When offsetting
the dc bias to nearly threshold condition, the mode-locking fails
to compete with the gain-switching of WRC-FPLD.
Fig. 5 illustrates the pulsewidth and the timing jitter of the
self-feedback mode-locking WRC-FPLD output with the external cavity feedback ratio increasing from 10% to 90%, which
reveals the lowest pulsewidth and the timing jitter of 22 ps and
153 fs at the feedback ratio of 90%, respectively. Such an improvement results from the high feedback power enhancing the
mode-locking effect. The pulse extinction ratio and the spectral
linewidth of the self-feedback HML output with various feed-

where g0 L denotes the small-signal gain, Pin the intracavity


feedback power, Psat the saturation power of WRC-FPLDbased gain medium. In addition, a large feedback essentially
decreases the gain coefficient due to the power saturation effect,
which results in a monotonically shortened pulsewidth as well
as an enlarged spectral linewidth under the transform-limited
condition. This can be well elucidated by using the following
equation of [32]


Dg
g
g
0

a = 4
= 4 2
= 4
(19)
Ms
g Ms
2
g Ms 1 + PPsiant
where Dg = g/2g ; g is the gain bandwidth.
In principle, the physical limitation on pulsewidth of the actively mode-locked WRC-FPLD is still limited by the gain bandwidth of the WRC-FPLD. The pulsewidth is correlated with the
ratio between gain dispersion Dg and modulation strength Ms ,
as shown in (19). In comparison, the increase of bias current not
only enlarges the gain but also shrinks the gain bandwidth of the
WRC-FPLD. Both variations eventually lead to the broadening
of the mode-locked pulsewidth and the shrinkage of spectral
linewidth at larger bias conditions. Therefore, the feedback ratio significantly impacts the enlarged spectral linewidth than the
biased current of WRC-FPLD for optimizing the self-feedback
mode-locking WRC-FPLD fiber laser. When using a conventional RSOA with an external fiber-ring cavity of highly reflective feedback, there will be only one set of longitudinal mode
contributed by the fiber-ring resonant cavity as the RSOA is a

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Fig. 7.
ratios.

IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS, VOL. 19, NO. 4, JULY/AUGUST 2013

Experimental and simulated pulsewidth versus different feedback

longitudinal-mode-free active gain medium. The RSOA has a


larger gain bandwidth without mode competition. However, the
modulation response of the RSOA is also worse than that of an
FPLD or a WRC-FPLD. Therefore, a tradeoff between the gain
bandwidth and the modulation response is set for such an architecture. In common case, the degraded modulation response
of the RSOA dominates the mode-locked pulsewidth shortening
prior to the ultimate limitation set by the gain bandwidth. While
the WRC-FPLD is biased at 60 mA and the feedback ratio of
the fiber ring is set to 90%, the 10-GHz optical pulsed carrier
with a high pulse extinction ratio of 13.65 dB, a low timing
jitter of 153 fs, a broad spectral linewidth of 7.6 nm, and a short
pulsewidth of 22 ps can be obtained.
Fig. 7 shows the numerical comparison versus the different
feedback ratios on the measured and simulated pulsewidths.
As mentioned above, the trend of the numerically simulated
pulsewidth of the self-feedback WRC-FPLD output with the
feedback ratios from 10% to 90% can be calculated by (14),
which is operated under a sufficient modulation power. By increasing the feedback ratio, the trend of the experimental results
shows a good correlation with the simulation. However, the experimental result above 50% feedback ratio may be influenced
by the extra ASE noise from EDFA. Because of the increasing
feedback ratio, the output power would be depleted to have a
relative weak force on the competition with EDFA. As a result, the ASE noise may induce some fluctuations to cause the
pulsewidth broadening.
B. Competition of the Longitudinal Mode Extinction Ratio
Between Continuous-Wave and HML Operation
After the gain competition with continuous-wave (CW) and
gain-switching mechanisms, the HML takes over the lasing
mechanism by increasing the bias of WRC-FPLD well beyond
threshold. This results in the extinction ratio of longitudinal
mode significantly decayed by 7.5 dB after enlarging the feedback ration up to 90%, and the HML modes can enhance their
extinction ratio by more than 3 dB (see Fig. 8) [31]. Both the
mode extinction and the HML linewidth are enlarged with increasing the seld-feedback power.

Fig. 8.

Variation of CW and HML MER versus feedback ratio.

Fig. 9.

Optical spectrum of the HML WRC-FPLD versus RF power.

It is mandatory to adjust the RF modulation power for optimizing the HML in the WRC-FPLD incorporated fiber-ring
with a 90% feedback. The increasing RF power enlarges the
modulation depth to suppress the longitudinal mode by 30 dB
and to broaden the spectral linewidth up to 7.6 nm, as shown in
Fig. 9 [31]. This is mainly attributed to a strengthened modelocking force, which significantly broadens the linewidth of a
single longitudinal mode by 4 times (from 0.1 to 0.4 nm). In
the meantime, the HML mode feature becomes dominated on
the optical spectrum when enlarging the RF power up to 25
dBm, as shown in Fig. 10 [31]. In previous work [30], the digital data transmission is limited at a bit-rate of 2.5 Gb/s, which
requires a broadband and flattened modulation response of the
WRC-FPLD-based transmitter. That is, the throughput power
of the modulated RF signal cannot be decayed or varied too
much within the modulation bandwidth. In principle, the modulation bandwidth is defined as the attenuation on the throughput
modulation power by 3 dB. Nonetheless, the whole modulation response could extend to a much higher frequency with a
dramatically decreased throughput. That is, the modulation can
still be worked effectively by enlarging the power of modulation signal. For optical communication applications, it is not
easy to obtain a broadband high-power amplifier for encoding

LEE et al.: HARMONIC MODE-LOCKING OF 10-GHZ DIRECTLY MODULATED WEAK-RESONANT-CAVITY FABRYPEROT LASER DIODE

Fig. 10.

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Evolution of mode-extinction spectrum with RF power.


Fig. 12.
powers.

Autocorrelation traces of the HML WRC-FPLD with different RF

Fig. 11. MER and spectral linewidth of the HML WRC-FPLD with different
RF powers.

the broadband digital data [28], the compensation on the decayed slope of the modulation throughput is too difficult, and
the overall power budget for covering the whole bandwidth of a
digital data up to 10 Gb/s is too high. In contrast, it only needs
a microwave amplifier with narrow bandwidth for amplifying
the sinusoidal-wave signal to mode-lock the WRC-FPLD-based
fiber-ring laser. Therefore, it is noted that the narrow-band modulation throughput of WRC-FPLD can be effectively promoted
by simply increasing the power of RF modulation signal and the
dc bias current.
Fig. 11 shows an increasing trend of the linewidth broadening with enlarging RF power for the HMLWRC-FPLD, whereas
the linear decreasing MER clearly indicates the strong modelocking force in the WRC-FPLD when enlarging the RF power
up to 0 dBm before the amplification with a 35-dB gain power
amplifier. The theoretical simulation on the transform-limited
pulsewidth can be as short as 0.16 ps if the negative chirp of
the HML WRC-FPLD can be properly compensated. The HML
WRC-FPLD pulse trace measured by the oscilloscope (Agilent
86109B) is shown in Fig. 12, the HML pulse shows a shortened
pulsewidth of 22 ps and a timing jitter of 153 fs at 10 GHz provided by higher RF powers. An extremely large frequency chirp
also accompanies with the shortened pulsewidth and broadened
linewidth of the WRC-FPLD under HML operation, whereas
the pulsewidth inevitably broasens with decreasing modulation

Fig. 13. Optical spectrum of the longitudinal mode of the 10-GHz


mode-locking.

RF power as the residual ASE component arises to compete


the gain with the HML mechanism. It is also enough to be
predicted a same trend from the numerically simulated of (13)
when decreasing the RF power that is equivalent to the modulation current.
C. Theoretic Model of the Optical Spectrum
of Single-Mode Linewidth
The optical spectrum of the self-feedback mode-locking
WRC-FPLD exhibits a narrow mode spacing of about 0.08 nm
corresponding to the optical pulsed carrier repeated at 10 GHz,
as shown in Fig. 13. To control the HML under a sufficient
modulation power of 28 dBm, it can be clearly seen that the
mode-locking modes are gradually evident. When staying away
from the optimized condition, the mode-locking modes would
turn back to the inherent longitudinal mode of WRC-FPLD due
to the insufficient modulation depth. The MER plays an important role to represent the transformation from gain-switching to
mode-locking in WRC-FPLD. Because the directly modulated
WRC-FPLD is used as the optical pulsed carrier source and
gain medium, the performance of 10-GHz mode-locking modes

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IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS, VOL. 19, NO. 4, JULY/AUGUST 2013

would be dominated on a limitation of gain spectrum, which


has a gain profile on the laser diode. Therefore, the 10-GHz
mode-locking modes would be limited on the determinate range
that may be reduced if the mode-locking force is decreased.
The high coherence property of a laser diode is a mandatory feature for applications in optical communications and
optical sensors, etc. [37], [38]. As early as 1962, Mandeli and
Wolfs first proposed the relation between the coherence time
and the bandwidth . It was indicated that is inversely
proportional to [39]. In 1982, the spectral linewidth of a
single-mode laser diode was derived by Henry [40]. Even a tiny
variation of the single-mode spectral linewidth can directly influence the coherence of the laser, which is inappropriate for
some applications. The single-mode spectral linewidth may be
changed by some parameters of the laser diode controlled by
the laser cavity length or the end-face reflectivity [39]. With
the self-feedback of 90%, the inherent longitudinal mode of the
WRC-FPLD is gradually suppressed by the mode-locking to induce the spectral linewidth broadening, as shown in Fig. 10. The
enhancement of the mode-locking force in WRC-FPLD essentially provides a wide spectrum with less distinct longitudinal
mode feature; the change is due to the competition of the intracavity gain-switching WRC-FPLD and the mode-locking with
an external fiber ring. Takushima et al. have also proposed the
effect on the longitudinal mode linewidth of mode-locked laser
diode that is broader than the SchawlowTownes linewidth [41].
This influence is caused by the linewidth enhancement factor in the gain medium regardless of the operation on actively
or passively mode-locking. Therefore, the longitudinal mode
linewidth broadening factor can be expressed as
m o de-lo cking =

nsp
(2 Nm o de + 1)
4ph S

(20)

which is derived from the rate equations for the carrier density
and the photon number, where Nm o de is the number of longitudinal modes after mode-locking, is the linewidth enhancement
factor, is the noise enhancement factor, nsp is the inversion
factor, ph is the photon lifetime, and S is the average photon number. Therefore, the variations of the mode linewidth are
strongly related to the increasing mode number as well as the
enhancing mode-locking force, such that the phase fluctuation
leads to the linewidth broadening of the inherent longitudinal
WRC-FPLD modes.
Fig. 14 shows the experimental and simulated single-mode
linewidth versus the number of mode-locked longitudinal
modes. This is a straightforward result when the mode-locking
effect is enhanced. The linewidth of the longitudinal mode
broadens when the mode-locking effect leads to suppress the
gain-switching effect in WRC-FPLD. The variation of the
single-mode linewidth is observed by controlling the modulation
depth with increasing RF power; a sufficient modulation power
would lead to a better performance of the HML operation in the
WRC-FPLD coupled fiber ring. The pulse gradually narrows
with the enhancement of mode-locking force. In the meantime,
the linewidth broadening can be predicted by Fourier transform to convert the variation from time domain into frequency
domain. Therefore, the same tendency on the increasing single-

Fig. 14. Experimental and simulated single-mode linewidth versus the number
of mode-locked longitudinal modes.

mode linewidth from both experiments and simulations can be


obtained with a sufficient modulation depth. However, it can be
clearly seen that the single-mode linewidth reveals a stronger
variation with the detuned operation of mode-locking in experiment than in numerical simulation. By setting as constant, a
linear fitting line which coincides with most of the experimental
data can be obtained. In more detail, the linewidth of the longitudinal mode broadens when the mode-locking effect leads
to suppress the gain-switching effect in the WRC-FPLD. When
the mode-locking effect is enhanced, the modulation depth as
well as the mode-locking strength improves to cause the modulated double sided-band enlarged, thus providing a broadened
linewidth of each longitudinal mode within the WRC-FPLD
incorporated fiber-ring laser cavity. The mode-locking strength
improves with increasing number of mode-locked longitudinal
modes, the coherence of the WRC-FPLD incorporated fiber-ring
laser gradually decreases, and the linewidth of a single longitudinal mode naturally broadens. The variation of the single-mode
linewidth is observed by controlling the modulation depth with
increasing RF power; a sufficient modulation power would lead
to a better performance of the HML operation in the WRCFPLD coupled fiber ring. The pulse gradually narrows with
the enhancement of mode-locking force. In the meantime, the
linewidth broadening can be predicted by Fourier transform to
convert the variation from time domain into frequency domain.
In experiment with the enhancement of 10-GHz mode-locking,
the single-mode linewidth is gradually dominated and the original lasing mode would be destroyed. This eventually facilitates
the subpicosecond pulse generation with appropriate external
compression mechanisms [42]. The large-signal modulation on
the WRC-FPLD has a direct influence on the coherence, which
greatly suppress the spontaneous emission noise and shrinks the
single-mode linewidth of the WRC-FPLD.
V. CONCLUSION
With the aid of a self-feedback fiber-ring, the harmonic modelocking of a 10-GHz directly modulated WRC-FPLD is demonstrated to exceed its original modulation bandiwdth. The 10GHz mode-locking performance of the self-feedback WRCFPLD at different biased currents and RF powers at WRC-FPLD

LEE et al.: HARMONIC MODE-LOCKING OF 10-GHZ DIRECTLY MODULATED WEAK-RESONANT-CAVITY FABRYPEROT LASER DIODE

and the feedback ratio with the contribution of a fiber ring has
been discussed. If the WRC-FPLD is biased at below 60 mA, the
performance of the HML degrades since the insufficient carriers
in the WRC-FPLD cannot be used to trigger the self-feedback
mode-locking at 10 GHz. Moreover, the degradation on the
mode-locking output is also observed because of the excessive
carriers induced additional dc level, which leads to the relative
deficiency of the modulation depth. Furthermore, by enlarging
the feedback ratio of the self-feedback fiber ring from 10% to
90%, the longitudinal mode spacing and the linewidth of the
self-feedback mode-locking WRC-FPLD output are decreased
from 0.6 to 0.08 nm (corresponding to the pulse repetition rate
of 10 GHz) and broaden form 1.25 to 7.6 nm, respectively, due
to the increasing of the HML. Then, by modifying the modelocking theory of master equation with rate equations of the
self-feedback structure, the ideal performance of optical pulse
train can be obtained when some parameters are changed in
the system. In this way, we establish a discussion under the
AML technique to study the mode-locking force which conforms to our situation and experimental result. With optimizing
our scheme to the strongest mode-locking force, the extinction
ratio of the CW lasing modes in the WRC-FPLD is greatly
suppressed from 10.5 to 3 dB, whereas the HML modes in
WRC-FPLD enlarges from 1.3 to 4 dB. A narrower spectral
linewidth of 3 nm and an MER of 32 dB are observed when the
WRC-FPLD is CW lasing. With the enhancement of HML by
increasing of RF power up to 28 dBm, the degradation on the
original longitudinal mode of the WRC-FPLD becomes significant to provide an MER decreasing from 32 to 2.8 dB. The pulse
extinction ratio of 0.9 and 13.6 dB can be obtained when the
HML mechanism in the WRC-FPLD is optimized. Because the
phase fluctuation induces a linewidth broadening of the WRCFPLD modes after mode-locking, the 30-dB suppression on
the longitudinal mode of the WRC-FPLD and an enhancement
on the mode-locked modes to 7 dB lead to the degradation
of the MER and the broadening of the spectral linewidth under the self-feedback mode-locking structure. The relationship
between the single-mode linewidth and the number of longitudinal modes after mode-locking can be described as a function
that an expected trend would be discussed and verified on the
theoretical simulation and experimental result. Optimization of
HML-pulsed carrier with a spectral linewidth of up to 7.6 nm, a
highly chirped pulsewidth of 22 ps (without appropriate linear
dispersion compensation), and a timing jitter of 153 fs can be
observed from the 10-GHz directly modulated and harmonic
mode-locked WRC-FPLD with a 90% strong self-feedback by
using a circulated fiber ring.
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Yi-Cheng Lee received the B.S. degree in electrical


engineering from Feng Chia University, Taichung,
Taiwan, and the M.S. degree in photonics and optoelectronics from National Taiwan University, Taipei,
Taiwan, in 2009 and 2011, respectively.
Her research interests include the ultrafast fiber
laser system and fiber-optic communications.

Yu-Chieh Chi was born in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1983.


He received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering
and M.S. degree in electrooptical engineering from
the National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei,
in 2005 and 2007, respectively. He is currently working toward the Ph.D. degree at the Graduate Institute
of Photonics and Optoelectronics, National Taiwan
University, Taipei.
He has (co)authored more than ten papers in international periodicals, and more than seven papers
in international conferences. His current research interests include fiber-optic communications, all-optical data processing, and optoelectronic oscillators.

Cheng-Ting Tsai is currently working toward the


Ph.D. degree in the Laboratory of Fiber Laser Communication and Si Nano-Photonics, Graduate Institute of Photonics and Optoelectronics, National
Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.
His research interests include fiber-optic communication and OFDM-QAM.

Yung-Hsiang Lin is currently working toward the


Ph.D. degree in the Laboratory of Fiber Laser Communication and Si Nano-Photonics, Graduate Institute of Photonics and Optoelectronics, National
Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.
He has authored and coauthored more than 13 papers in SCI-cited international journals and over five
papers in international conferences. His research interests include ultrafast photonics, Si nanophotonics,
and low-dimensional nanocomposite synthesis.

Gong-Ru Lin (S93M96SM04) received the


B.S. degree in physics from Soochow University,
Taipei, Taiwan, in 1990, and the M.S. and PhD degrees in electrooptical engineering from National
Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, in 1990
and 1996, respectively.
He was the Faculty Member of several universities
in Taiwan from 1997 to 2006. He joined the Graduate Institute of Photonics and Optoelectronics and
the Department of Electrical Engineering, National
Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, as a Full Professor in 2006, where he is currently the Director of the Laboratory of Fiber Laser
Communications and Si Nano-Photonics. He has coauthored more than 200
SCI-ranked journal papers and 300 international conference papers during his
research career. His research interests include fiber-optic communications, alloptical data processing, femtosecond fiber lasers, nanocrystallite Si photonics,
ultrafast photoconductors, and optoelectronic phase-locked loops.
Dr. Lin is a Senior Member of the Optical Society of America, and a Fellow
of the International Society for Optical Engineers, the Institution of Engineering
and Technology, and the Institute of Physics.