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Progress In Electromagnetics Research, PIER 73, 249–275, 2007

NONLINEAR EFFECTS IN OPTICAL FIBERS: ORIGIN,
MANAGEMENT AND APPLICATIONS
S. P. Singh

and N. Singh
Department of Electronics and Communication
University of Allahabad
Allahabad-211002, India
Abstract—The nonlinear effects in optical fiber occur either due to
intensity dependence of refractive index of the medium or due to
inelastic-scattering phenomenon. This paper describes various types
of nonlinear effects based on first effect such as self-phase modulation,
cross-phase modulation and four-wave mixing. Their thresholds,
managements and applications are also discussed; and comparative
study of these effects is presented.
1. INTRODUCTION
The terms linear and nonlinear (Figure 1), in optics, mean intensity-
independent and intensity-dependent phenomena respectively. Nonlin-
ear effects in optical fibers (Table 1) occur due to (1) change in the
refractive index of the medium with optical intensity and, (2) inelastic-
scattering phenomenon. The power dependence of the refractive index
is responsible for the Kerr-effect. Depending upon the type of in-
put signal, the Kerr-nonlinearity manifests itself in three different ef-
fects such as Self-Phase Modulation (SPM), Cross-Phase Modulation
(CPM) and Four-Wave Mixing (FWM). At high power level, the inelas-
tic scattering phenomenon can induce stimulated effects such as Stim-
ulated Brillouin-Scattering (SBS) and Stimulated Raman-Scattering
(SRS). The intensity of scattered light grows exponentially if the inci-
dent power exceeds a certain threshold value. The difference between
Brillouin and Raman scattering is that the Brillouin generated phonons
(acoustic) are coherent and give rise to a macroscopic acoustic wave
in the fiber, while in Raman scattering the phonons (optical) are inco-
herent and no macroscopic wave is generated.

Also with Physics Department, KNIPSS, Sultanpur, U.P., India.
250 Singh and Singh
Linear
Nonlinear
Input
Output
Figure 1. Linear and nonlinear interactions.
Table 1. Nonlinear effects in optical fibers.
Nonlinear Effects in Optical Fibers
Inelastic Scattering
Index Effects Effects
SPM CPM FWM SRS SBS
Nonlinear Refractive
Except for SPM and CPM, all nonlinear effects provide gains to
some channel at the expense of depleting power from other channels.
SPM and CPM affect only the phase of signals and can cause spectral
broadening, which leads to increased dispersion. Due to several recent
events, the nonlinear effects in optical fibers are an area of academic
research [1–4, 15, 17–20].
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, PIER 73, 2007 251
(i) Use of single mode fiber (SMF) with small cross section of light-
carrying area has led to increased power intensity inside the fiber.
(ii) Use of in-line optical amplifiers has resulted in a substantial
increase in the absolute value of the power carried by a fiber.
(iii) The deployment of multiwavelength systems together with optical
amplifier.
(iv) The deployment of high-bit-rate (>10 Gbits/s per channel)
systems.
This paper is organized as follows:
The basics of nonlinear effects are discussed in Section 2. Self-
phase modulation, cross-phase modulation and four-wave mixing are
described in Sections 3, 4 and 5 respectively. Their thresholds,
managements and applications are also given in these sections. These
effects are compared in Section 6. Finally, conclusion is presented in
Section 7.
2. BASICS
For intense electromagnetic fields, any dielectric medium behaves like
a nonlinear medium. Fundamentally, origin of nonlinearity lies in
anharmonic motion of bound electrons under the influence of an
applied field. Due to this anharmonic motion the total polarization
P induced by electric dipoles is not linear but satisfies more general
relation as
P = ε
0
χ
(1)
E + ε
0
χ
(2)
E
2
+ ε
0
χ
(3)
E
3
+· · · (1)
where ε
0
is the permittivity of vacuum and χ
(k)
(k = 1, 2, . . .) is kth
order susceptibility.
The dominant contribution to P is provided by linear susceptibil-
ity χ
(1)
. The second order susceptibility χ
(2)
is responsible for second-
harmonic generation and sum-frequency generation. A medium, which
lacks inversion symmetry at the molecular level, has non-zero second
order susceptibility. However for a symmetric molecule, like silica, χ
(2)
vanishes. Therefore optical fibers do not exhibit second order nonlin-
ear refractive effects. It is worth to mention here that, the electric-
quadrupole and magnetic-dipole moments can generate weak second
order nonlinear effects. Defects and color centers inside the fiber core
can also contribute to second harmonic generation under certain con-
ditions. Obviously the third order susceptibility χ
(3)
is responsible for
lowest-order nonlinear effects in fibers [5].
252 Singh and Singh
For isotropic medium, like optical fiber, polarization vector P will
always be in direction of electric field vector E. So one may use scalar
notations instead of vector notations. For an electric field,
E = E
0
cos(ωt −kz) (2)
the polarization P becomes
P = ε
0
χ
(1)
E
0
cos(ωt −kz) + ε
0
χ
(2)
E
2
0
cos
2
(ωt −kz)

0
χ
(3)
E
3
0
cos
3
(ωt −kz) +· · · (3)
Using some trigonometric relations, equation (3) can be written as
P =
1
2
ε
0
χ
(2)
E
2
0
+ ε
0
χ
(1)
+
3
4
χ
(3)
E
2
0
E
0
cos(ωt −kz)
+
1
2
ε
0
χ
(2)
E
2
0
cos 2(ωt −kz) +
1
4
ε
0
χ
(3)
E
3
0
cos 3(ωt −kz) +· · · (4)
The effect of first term is of little practical importance as it is a
constant term and gives a dc field across the medium. The second term
oscillating at frequency ω is known as first or fundamental harmonic of
polarization. The third term oscillating with frequency 2ω is called the
second harmonic of polarization. Similarly fourth term with frequency
3ω is known as third harmonic of polarization. For optical fibers, χ
(2)
vanishes, and hence equation (4) becomes
P = ε
0
χ
(1)
+
3
4
χ
(3)
E
2
0
E
0
cos(ωt −kz) +
1
4
ε
0
χ
(3)
E
3
0
cos 3(ωt −kz) (5)
Here higher order terms are neglected because their contribution is
negligible. Due to variations in refractive index of the fiber there is lack
of phase between frequencies ω and 3ω. Due to this phase mismatch
the second term of equation (5) can be neglected and polarization can
be written as
P = ε
0
χ
(1)
E
0
cos(ωt −kz) +
3
4
ε
0
χ
(3)
E
3
0
cos(ωt −kz) (6)
This equation contains both linear (first term) and nonlinear
(second term) polarizations. For a plane wave represented by equation
(2), the intensity (I) is defined as,
I =
1
2

0
n
l
E
2
0
(7)
where c is velocity of light and n
l
is linear refractive index of the
medium at low fields. Hence,
P = ε
0
χ
(1)
+
3
2
χ
(3)

0
n
l
IE
0
cos(ωt −kz) (8)
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, PIER 73, 2007 253
2.1. Effective Susceptibility and Effective Refractive Index
The effective susceptibility (χ
eff
) of the medium is defined as,
χ
eff
=
P
ε
0
E
= χ
(1)
+
3
2
χ
(3)

0
n
l
I (9)
Therefore, effective refractive index (n
eff
) can be written as
n
eff
= (1 + χ
eff
)
1
2
or
n
eff
=

1 + χ
(1)
+
3
2
χ
(3)

0
n
2
l
I
1
2
(10)
The last term is usually very small even for very intense light beam.
Hence above expression for n
eff
can be approximated with help of
Taylor’s series expansion as
n
eff
= n
l
+
3
4
χ
(3)

0
n
2
l
I (11)
or
n
eff
= n
l
+ n
nl
I (12)
In equation (12) first term [n
l
= (1 + χ
(3)
)
1
2
] is linear refractive index
and second term (n
nl
=
3
4
χ
(3)

0
n
2
l
) is nonlinear refractive index. Higher
order terms are negligible and hence neglected.
For fused silica fibers n
l
≈ 1.46 and n
nl
≈ 3.2 × 10
−20
m
2
/W.
For the propagation of a mode carrying 100 mW of power in a single
mode fiber with an effective mode area ≈ 50 µm
2
, resultant intensity
is 2 × 10
9
W/m
2
and the change in refractive index due to nonlinear
effect is,
∆n = n
nl
I ≈ 6.4 ×10
−11
Although, this change in refractive index is very small, but due to
very long interaction length (10–10,000 km) of an optical fiber, the
accumulated effects (nonlinear) become significant. It is worth to
mention that, this nonlinear term is responsible for the formation of
solitons.
2.2. Effective Transmission Length
The nonlinear effects depend on transmission length. The longer
the fiber link length, the more the light interaction and greater the
254 Singh and Singh
nonlinear effect. As the optical beam propagates along the link length,
its power decreases because of fiber attenuation. The effective length
(L
eff
) is that length, up to which power is assumed to be constant [6].
The optical power at a distance z along link is given as,
P(z) = P
in
exp(−αz) (13)
where P
in
is the input power (power at z = 0) and α is coefficient of
attenuation. For a actual link length (L), effective length is defined as,
(Figure 2)
P
in
L
eff
=
L

z=0
P(z)dz (14)
Using equations (13) and (14), effective link length is obtained as,
L
eff
=
(1 −exp(−αz))
α
(15)
Since communication fibers are long enough so that L 1/α. This
results in L
eff
≈ 1/α.
Launched power (Pin)
Power
Real power distribution
Leff
Link length
Figure 2. Definition of the effective length.
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, PIER 73, 2007 255
In optical systems with optical amplifiers, the signal gets
amplified at each amplifier stage without resetting the effects due to
nonlinearities from previous span. Obviously the effective length in
such systems is sum of the effective length of each span. In a link of
length L with amplifiers spaced l distance apart, the effective length is
approximately given by,
L
eff
=
(1 −exp(−αz))
α
L
l
(16)
Pin Leff
10000
1000
100
10
1
50 100 150 200 250
Amplifier Spacing (Km)
Figure 3. Relative value of P
in
L
eff
with respect to amplifier spacing.
The ordinate is the value relative to an amplifier spacing of 1 km. And
attenuation coefficient α = 0.22 dB/km.
The Figure 3 shows how P
in
L
eff
grows with amplifiers spacing (l).
It is clear from this figure that effects of nonlinearities can be reduced
by reducing the amplifier spacing.
2.3. Effective Cross-sectional Area
The effect of nonlinearity grows with intensity in fiber and the intensity
is inversely proportional to area of the core. Since the power is
not uniformly distributed within the cross-section of the fiber, it is
reasonable to use effective cross-sectional area (A
eff
). The A
eff
is
related to the actual area (A) and the cross-sectional distribution of
256 Singh and Singh
intensity I(r, θ) in following way [6],
A
eff
=

r

θ
rdrdθI(r, θ)

r

θ
rdrdθI
2
(r, θ)
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
(17)
where r and θ denote the polar coordinates. Figure 4 provides
definition of effective area (A
eff
).
Launched power (Pin)
Power
Real power distribution
√Aeff/π
Radius
Figure 4. Definition of effective core area.
3. SELF-PHASE MODULATION (SPM)
The higher intensity portions of an optical pulse encounter a higher
refractive index of the fiber compared with the lower intensity portions
while it travels through the fiber. In fact time varying signal intensity
produces a time varying refractive index in a medium that has an
intensity-dependant refractive index. The leading edge will experience
a positive refractive index gradient (dn/dt) and trailing edge a negative
refractive index gradient (−dn/dt). This temporally varying index
change results in a temporally varying phase change, as shown in
Figure 5. The optical phase changes with time in exactly the same
way as the optical signal [7]. Since, this nonlinear phase modulation
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, PIER 73, 2007 257
Optical power
Front Back
+ dn/dt -dn/dt
-2 -1 1 2
time
dφ/dt Frequency chirp
-2 -1
0 1 2

0
time
Figure 5. Phenomenological description of spectral broadening of
pulse due to SPM.
is self-induced the nonlinear phenomenon responsible for it is called as
self-phase modulation.
Different parts of the pulse undergo different phase shift because
of intensity dependence of phase fluctuations. This results in frequency
chirping. The rising edge of the pulse finds frequency shift in upper side
whereas the trailing edge experiences shift in lower side. Hence primary
258 Singh and Singh
effect of SPM is to broaden the spectrum of the pulse [8], keeping
the temporal shape unaltered. The SPM effects are more pronounced
in systems with high-transmitted power because the chirping effect is
proportional to transmitted signal power.
The phase (φ) introduced by a field E over a fiber length L is
given by
φ =

λ
nL (18)
where λ is wavelength of optical pulse propagating in fiber of refractive
index n, and nL is known as optical path length.
For a fiber containing high-transmitted power n and L can be
replaced by n
eff
and L
eff
respectively i.e.,
φ =

λ
n
eff
L
eff
or
φ =

λ
(n
l
+ n
nl
I)L
eff
(19)
The first term on right hand side refers to linear portion of phase
constant (φ
l
) and second term provides nonlinear phase constant (φ
nl
).
If intensity is time dependent i.e., the wave is temporally
modulated then phase (φ) will also depend on time [9]. This variation
in phase with time is responsible for change in frequency spectrum,
which is given by
ω =

dt
(20)
In a dispersive medium a change in the spectrum of temporally
varying pulse will change the nature of the variation. To observe
this, consider a Gaussian pulse, which modulates an optical carrier
frequency ω (say) and the new instantaneous frequency becomes,
ω

= ω
0
+

dt
(21)
The sign of the phase shift due to SPM is negative because of the minus
sign in the expression for phase, (ωt −kz) i.e.,
φ = −

λ
L
eff
(n
l
+ n
nl
I)
And therefore ω becomes,
ω

= ω
0


λ
L
eff
n
nl
dI
dt
(22)
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, PIER 73, 2007 259
Clearly at leading edge of the pulse
dI
dt
> 0 hence
ω

= ω
0
−ω(t) (23)
And at trailing edge
dI
dt
< 0 so,
ω

= ω
0
+ ω(t) (24)
where,
ω(t) =

λ
L
eff
n
nl
dI
dt
(25)
This shows that the pulse is chirped i.e., frequency varies across the
pulse. This chirping phenomenon is generated due to SPM, which
leads to the spectral broadening of the pulse. Figures 6 and 7 show
the variation of I(t) and dI/dt for a Gaussian pulse.
I(t)
0

t
Figure 6. For a pulse with intensity varying as function of time.
There is broadening of the spectrum without any change in
temporal distribution in case of self-phase modulation while in case
of dispersion, there is broadening of the pulse in time domain and
spectral contents are unaltered. In other words, the SPM by itself leads
only to chirping, regardless of the pulse shape. It is dispersion that is
responsible for pulse broadening. The SPM induced chirp modifies the
pulse broadening effects of dispersion.
260 Singh and Singh
dI(t)/dt
0 t
0
Figure 7. For a pulse with dI/dt varying as function of time.
3.1. Thresholds and Management
SPM arises due to intensity dependence of refractive index.
Fluctuation in signal intensity causes change in phase of the signal.
This change in phase induces additional chirp, which leads to dispersion
penalty. This penalty will be small if input power is less than certain
threshold value. The appropriate chirping of the input pulses can also
be beneficial for reducing the SPM effects. For this, chirped RZ or
CRZ modulation can be adopted.
The power dependence of nonlinear phase constant (φ
nl
) is
responsible for SPM impact on communication systems [5, 20]. To
reduce this impact, it is necessary to have φ
nl
1. Nonlinear phase
constant (φ
nl
) can be written as
φ
nl
= k
nl
P
in
L
eff
where nonlinear propagation constant k
nl
=

λ
n
nl
A
eff
.
So, with L
eff

1
α
; one may obtain, P
in

α
k
nl
.
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, PIER 73, 2007 261
Therefore, to have φ
nl
1 is equivalent to P
in

α
k
nl
.
Typically α = 0.2 dB/km at λ = 1550 nm and k
nl
= 2.35 ×
10
−3
1/mW. The input power should be kept below 19.6 mW.
The move to increase the span between in-line optical amplifiers,
more power must be launched into each fiber. This increased power
increases SPM effect on lightwave systems, which results in pulse
spreading. The use of large-effective area fibers (LEAF) reduces
intensity inside the fiber and hence SPM impact on the system.
The chirp produced by SPM, which causes broadening [10],
depends on the input pulse shape and the instantaneous power level
within the pulse. For Gaussian shaped pulse, the chirp is even and
gradual, and for a pulse that involves an abrupt change in power level
(e.g., square pulse) the amount of chirp is greater. Therefore a suitable
input pulse shape may be able to reduce the chirp and hence SPM
induced broadening.
In general, all nonlinear effects are weak and depend on long
interaction length to build up. So any mechanism that reduces
interaction length decreases the effect of non-linearity. The damage
due to SPM-induced pulse broadening on system performance depends
on the power transmitted and length of the link. An estimation of this
is shown in Figure 8, which shows that pulse can be twice as wide at
the end of 200 km transmission as it was at the start.
The performance of self-phase modulation-impaired system can
Relative phase
width (t(z)/to)
10mW
1mW
20mW
Link length (km)
0
50
150 200
0.4
0.8
1.0
1.4
1.8
2.0
Figure 8. Pulse spreading caused by SPM as a function of distance.
262 Singh and Singh
be improved significantly by adjusting the net residual (NRD) of the
system. For SPM-impaired system the optimal NRD can be obtained
by minimizing the output distortion of signal pulse. The NRD of
SPM-impaired dispersion-managed systems can be optimized by a semi
analytical expression obtained with help of perturbation theory. This
method is verified by numerical simulations for many SPM-impaired
systems [21, 22].
3.2. Applications of SPM Phenomenon
Two important applications of SPM concept are in solitons and in
pulse compression.
3.2.1. Solitons
SPM leads to chirping with lower frequencies in the leading edge
and higher frequencies in the trailing edge. On the other hand the
chirping caused by linear dispersion, in the wavelength region above
zero dispersion wavelength, is associated with higher frequencies in
leading edge and lower frequencies in the trailing edge. Both these
effects are opposite. By proper choice of pulse shape (a hyperbolic
secant-shape) and the power carried by the pulse, one effect can
be compensated with the other. In such situation the pulse would
propagate undistorted by mutual compensation of dispersion and SPM.
Such a pulse would broaden neither in the time domain (as in linear
dispersion) nor in frequency domain (as in SPM) and is called soliton
[11, 18]. Since soliton pulse does not broaden during its propagation,
it has tremendous potential for applications in super high bandwidth
optical communication systems.
3.2.2. Pulse Compression
SPM phenomenon can be used in pulse compression. In the wavelength
region where chromatic dispersion is positive, the red-shifted leading
edge of the pulse travels slower and moves toward the center of pulse.
Similarly, the blue shifted trailing edge travels faster, and also moves
toward the center of the pulse. In this situation SPM causes the pulses
to narrow.
Another simple pulse compression scheme is based on filtering self-
phase modulation-broadened spectrum [23].
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, PIER 73, 2007 263
3.2.3. Optically Tunable Delays
In ultra-high speed optical communications, the optical /electronic
conversion of information puts limit on transmission data rate.
Therefore, it is desirable to have all-optical components for buffering
and delaying signal pulses. Tunable all-optical delays are important for
application in telecommunication, optical coherence tomography and
optical sampling. There is a novel technique for all-optical delays which
involves spectral broadening via self-phase modulation and wavelength
filtering [24, 25]. Tunable delays of more than 4.2 ns for a 3.5-ps input
pulse is demonstrated by using this technique.
3.2.4. Optical 40 Gb/s 3R Regenerator
Combined effect of self-phase modulation and cross-absorption
modulation is utilized in all optical 3R regenerators [26]. The
performance of such regenerators is experimentally verified for 40 Gb/s
data rate. The introduction of a predistortion block configuration
including a highly non-linear fiber enhances the chromatic dispersion
tolerance.
4. CROSS PHASE MODULATION (CPM)
SPM is the major nonlinear limitation in a single channel system. The
intensity dependence of refractive index leads to another nonlinear
phenomenon known as cross-phase modulation (CPM). When two
or more optical pulses propagate simultaneously, the cross-phase
modulation is always accompanied by SPM and occurs because the
nonlinear refractive index seen by an optical beam depends not only
on the intensity of that beam but also on the intensity of the other
copropagating beams [13]. In fact CPM converts power fluctuations
in a particular wavelength channel to phase fluctuations in other
copropagating channels. The result of CPM may be asymmetric
spectral broadening and distortion of the pulse shape.
The effective refractive index of a nonlinear medium can be
expressed in terms of the input power (P) and effective core area (A
eff
)
as,
n
eff
= n
l
+ n
nl
P
A
eff
(26)
The nonlinear effects depend on ratio of light power to the cross-
sectional area of the fiber. If the first-order perturbation theory is
applied to investigate how fiber modes are affected by the nonlinear
264 Singh and Singh
refractive index, it is found that the mode shape does not change but
the propagation constant becomes power dependent.
k
eff
= k
l
+ k
nl
P (27)
where kl is the linear portion of the propagation constant and k
nl
is
nonlinear propagation constant. The phase shift caused by nonlinear
propagation constant in traveling a distance L inside fiber is given as
φ
nl
=
L

0
(k
eff
−k
l
)dz (28)
Using equations (27) and (14) nonlinear phase shift becomes,
φ
nl
= k
nl
P
in
L
eff
(29)
When several optical pulses propagate simultaneously the
nonlinear phase shift of first channel φ
1
nl
(say) depends not only on
the power of that channel but also on signal power of other channels.
For two channels, φ
1
nl
can be given as,
φ
1
nl
= k
eff
L
eff
(P
1
+ 2P
2
) (30)
For N-channel transmission system, the shift for ith channel can be
given as [8],
φ
i
nl
= k
nl
L
eff

¸
P
i
+ 2
N
¸
n=i
P
n
¸

(31)
The factor 2 in above equation has its origin in the form of
nonlinear susceptibility [5] and indicates that CPM is twice as effective
as SPM for the same amount of power. The first term in above equation
represents the contribution of SPM and second term that of CPM. It
can be observed that CPM is effective only when the interacting signals
superimpose in time.
CPM hinders the system performance through the same
mechanism as SPM: chirping frequency and chromatic dispersion, but
CPM can damage the system performance even more than SPM.
CPM influences the system severely when number of channels is large.
Theoretically, for a 100-channels system, CPM imposes a power limit
of 0.1 mW per channel.
4.1. Thresholds and Management
The CPM-induced phase shift can occur only when two pulses overlap
in time. Due to this overlapping, the intensity-dependent phase shift
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, PIER 73, 2007 265
and consequent chirping is enhanced. Therefore the pulse broadening is
also enhanced, which limits the performance of lightwave systems. The
effects of CPM can be reduced by increasing the wavelength spacing
between individual channels. For increased wavelength spacing, pulse
overlaps for such a short time that CPM effects are virtually negligible.
In fact, owing to fiber dispersion, the propagation constants of these
channels become sufficiently different so that the pulses corresponding
to individual channels walk away from each other. Due to this
pulse walk-off phenomenon the pulses, which were initially temporally
coincident, cease to be so after propagating for some distance and
cannot interact further. Thus, effect of CPM is reduced.
In a WDM system, CPM converts power fluctuations in
a particular wavelength channel to phase fluctuations in other
copropagating channels. This leads to broadening of pulse. It can
be greatly mitigated in WDM systems operating over standard non-
dispersion shifted single mode fiber [14, 20]. One more advantage of
this kind of fiber is its effective core area, which is typically 80 µm
2
.
This large effective area is helpful in reducing nonlinear effects because
k
nl
is inversely proportional to A
eff
.
Like SPM, the CPM also depends on interaction length of fiber.
The long interaction length is always helpful in building up this effect
up to a significant level. Keeping inter action length small, one can
reduce this kind of nonlinearity.
4.2. Applications of CPM Phenomenon
Optical switching and pulse compression can be done through the CPM
phenomenon.
4.2.1. Optical Switching
Phase shift, in an optical pulse, due to CPM phenomenon can be
used for optical switching. To take advantage of CPM-induced phase
shift for ultra-fast optical switching many interferometric methods
have been used [5]. Consider a interferometer designed in such a
way that a weak signal pulse, divided equally between its two arms,
experiences identical phase shifts in each arm and is transmitted
through constructive interference. When a pump pulse at different
wavelength is injected into one of the arms, it will change the signal
phase through CPM phenomenon in that arm. If the CPM-induced
phase shift is large (close to π), this much phase shift results in
destructive interference and hence no transmission of signal pulse.
Thus an intense pump pulse can switch the signal pulse.
266 Singh and Singh
4.2.2. Pulse Compression
Like SPM induced frequency chirp, the CPM induced frequency chirp
can also be used for pulse compression. The SPM techniques require
the input pulse to be intense and energetic, but the CPM is able to
compress even weak input pulses because copropagating intense pump
pulse produces the frequency chirp. The CPM induced chirp is affected
by pulse walk-off and depends critically on the initial relative pump-
signal delay. As a result the use of CPM induced pulse compression
requires a careful control of the pump pulse parameters such as its
width, peak power, wavelength and initial delay relative to the signal
pulse.
4.2.3. Pulse Retiming
In an anomalous-dispersion polarization-maintained fiber ultra-fast
optical pulses can be retimed by utilizing cross-phase modulation
phenomenon. With help of this phenomenon spectral, temporal and
spatial properties of ultra-short pulses can be controlled [27, 28].
5. FOUR-WAVE MIXING (FWM)
The origin of FWM process lies in the nonlinear response of bound
electrons of a material to an applied optical field. In fact, the
polarization induced in the medium contains not only linear terms but
also the nonlinear terms. The magnitude of these terms is governed
by the nonlinear susceptibilities of different orders. The FWM process
originates from third order nonlinear susceptibility (χ
(3)
). If three
optical fields with carrier frequencies ω
1
, ω
2
and ω
3
, copropagate inside
the fiber simultaneously, (χ
(3)
) generates a fourth field with frequency
ω
4
, which is related to other frequencies by a relation, ω
4
= ω
1
±ω
2
±ω
3
.
In quantum-mechanical context, FWM occurs when photons from
one or more waves are annihilated and new photons are created at
different frequencies such that net energy and momentum are conserved
during the interaction.
SPM and CPM are significant mainly for high bit rate systems,
but the FWM effect is independent of the bit rate and is critically
dependant on the channel spacing and fiber dispersion. Decreasing
the channel spacing increases the four-wave mixing effect and so does
decreasing the dispersion.
In order to understand the FWM effect [6], consider a WDM
signal, which is sum of n monochromatic plane waves. The electric
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, PIER 73, 2007 267
field of such signal can be written as
E =
n
¸
p=1
E
p
cos(ω
p
t −k
p
z) (32)
Then the nonlinear polarization is given by
P
nl
= ε
0
χ
(3)
E
3
(33)
For this case P
nl
takes the form as
P
nl

0
χ
(3)
n
¸
p=1
n
¸
q=1
n
¸
r=1
E
p
cos(ω
p
t−k
p
z)E
q
cos(ω
q
t−t
q
z)E
r
cos(ω
r
t−k
r
z)
(34)
Expansion of above expression gives,
P
nl
=
3
4
ε
0
χ
(3)
n
¸
p=1
E
2
p
+ 2
¸
q=p
E
p
E
q
E
p
cos(ω
p
t −t
p
z)
+
1
4
ε
0
χ
(3)
n
¸
p=1
E
3
p
cos(3ω
p
t −3k
p
z)
+
3
4
ε
0
χ
(3)
n
¸
p=1
¸
q=p
E
2
p
E
q
cos{(2ω
p
−ω
q
)t −(2k
p
−k
q
)z}
+
3
4
ε
0
χ
(3)
n
¸
p=1
¸
q=1
E
2
p
E
q
cos{(2ω
p
+ ω
q
)t −(2k
p
+ k
q
)z}
+
6
4
ε
0
χ
(3)
n
¸
p=1
¸
q>p
¸
r>q
E
p
E
q
E
r
cos{(2ω
p

q
+ ω
r
)t−(k
p
+k
q
+k
r
)z}
+cos{(ω
p
+ ω
q
+ ω
r
)t −(k
p
+ k
q
+ k
r
)z}
+cos{(ω
p
−ω
q
+ ω
r
)t −(k
p
−k
q
+ k
r
)z}
+cos{(ω
p
−ω
q
−ω
r
)t −(k
p
−k
q
−k
r
)z} (35)
The first terms in above equation represents the effect of SPM
and CPM. Second, third and fourth terms can be neglected because
of phase mismatch. The reason behind this phase mismatch is
that, in real fibers k(3ω) = 3k(ω) so any difference like (3ω −
3k) is called as phase mismatch. The phase mismatch can also
be understood as the mismatch in phase between different signals
traveling within the fiber at different group velocities. All these
waves can be neglected because they contribute little. The last term
268 Singh and Singh
represents phenomenon of four-wave mixing. It is this term, which
tells that three EM waves propagating in a fiber generate new waves
[16] with frequencies (ω
p
± ω
q
± ω
r
). Four-wave mixing (FWM) is
analogous to intermodulation distortion in electrical systems. The
last term of polarization expression tells that FWM comes from
frequency combinations like (ω
p

q
−ω
r
). In compact form all these
combinations can be written as
ω
pqr
= ω
p
+ ω
q
−ω
r
with p, q = r (36)
(2 1- 2) 1 2 (2 2- 1)
Frequency (ω)
ω ω ω ω ω ω
Figure 9. Showing mixing of two waves.
Figure 9 shows a simple example of mixing of two waves at
frequency ω
1
and ω
2
. When these waves mixed up, they generate
sidebands at (2ω
1
−ω
2
) and (2ω
2
−ω
1
). Similarly, three copropagating
waves will create nine new optical sideband waves at frequencies given
by equation (36). These sidebands travel along with original waves
and will grow at the expense of signal-strength depletion. In general
for N-wavelengths launched into fiber, the number of generated mixed
products M is,
M = N
2
/2 · (N −1)
The efficiency FWM depends on fiber dispersion and the channel
spacing. Since the dispersion varies with wavelength, the signal waves
and the generated waves have different group velocities. This destroys
the phase matching of interacting waves and lowers the efficiency of
power transfer to newly generated frequencies. The higher the group
velocity mismatch and wider the channel spacing, the lower the four-
wave mixing. This is shown in Figure 10. The curves show the
frequency-spacing range over which the FWM process is efficient for
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, PIER 73, 2007 269
Efficiency
(%)
Channel separation (GHz)
(With 1-ps/nm.km dispersion in
1550 nm window)
50
100
0
60
100
DSF
20
40
SMF
(16-ps/nm-km
disperion in
1550nm window)
80
Figure 10. Efficiency of four wave mixing with respect to channel
separation.
two dispersion values. It is clear that in conventional SMFs, frequencies
with separations less than 20 GHz will mix efficiently. But for DSFs,
FWM efficiencies are greater than 20% for separation upto 50 GHz.
5.1. Thresholds and Management
Four-wave mixing process results in power transfer from one channel
to other. This phenomenon results in power depletion of the
channel, which degrades the performance of that channel (i.e., BER
is increased). In order to achieve original BER, some additional power
is required which is termed as power penalty. Since, FWM itself is
interchannel crosstalk it induces interference of information from one
channel with another channel. This interference again degrades the
system performance. To reduce this degradation, channel spacing must
be increased. This increases the group velocity mismatch between
channels and hence FWM penalty is reduced.
Four-wave mixing presents a severe problem in WDM systems
using dispersion-shifted fibers (DSF) [12]. Penalty due to FWM can
be reduced if a little chromatic dispersion is present in the fiber.
Due to chromatic dispersion, different interacting waves travel with
270 Singh and Singh
different group velocities. This results in reduced efficiency of FWM
and hence penalty. A non-zero dispersion-shifted fiber is used for this
purpose. The FWM imposes limitations on the maximum transmit
power per channel. This limitation for system operating over standard
single-mode fiber (SMF) and dispersion-shifted fiber (DSF) is shown
in Figure 11.
SMF
Maximum
transmit
power per
channel
(mW)
DSF
Distance (km)
0.1
1.0
0.01
10
100
100
1000 10000
Figure 11. Maximum transmitted power per channel versus distance
imposed by FWM.
Like other nonlinear effects limitations of FWM on a communica-
tion system depend on the effective area (A
eff
), effective fiber length
(L
eff
) and, of course, on the intensity of transmitted signal. Using
NZ-DSF of large effective area and small effective length with reduced
transmitted signal power results in reduction of penalty due to FWM
process.
FWM produces severe limitations on performance of WDM all-
optical networks. The number of FWM components increases with the
increase in number of users. If these generated wavelengths coincide
with the original signal wavelength, then it results in interference
causing degradation in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). This effect can
be reduced by using modified repeated unequally spaced channel
allocation [29].
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, PIER 73, 2007 271
5.2. Applications of FWM Process
Two important applications of FWM are squeezing and wavelength
conversion. These are described below.
5.2.1. Squeezing
The FWM process can be used to reduce quantum noise through
a phenomenon called squeezing. In fact squeezing is a process of
generating the special states of an electromagnetic field for which
noise fluctuations, in some frequency range, are reduced below the
quantum-noise level [5]. FWM can be used for squeezing as noise
components at the signal and idler frequencies are coupled through
the fiber nonlinearity.
Physically, squeezing can be understood as deamplification of
signal and idler waves for certain values of relative phase between
the two waves. Photons of random phases are generated due to
spontaneous emission at the signal and idler frequencies. Four-wave
mixing process increases or decreases the number of signal-idler photon
pairs depending on their relative phases. Noise is reduced below the
quantum-noise level when the phase of the local oscillator is adjusted
to match the relative phase corresponding to the photon pair,whose
number was reduced as a result of FWM process.
5.2.2. Wavelength Conversion
Four-wave-mixing phenomenon can be used effectively for wavelength
conversion too. The function of wavelength converter is to transform
information from one wavelength to another. A phenomenological
method of wavelength conversion is shown in Figure 12. When a data
input (λ
1
) and a probe signal (λ
2
) are injected into a nonlinear medium,
due to mixing process a new signal (λ
3
) is generated in association with
Nonlinear
Medium
Data signal
Probe signal
(λ2)
All signals at different
wavelengths
Filter
Converted
signal ( 3) λ
(λ1)
Figure 12. Phenomenological description of wavelength conversion
through FWM process.
272 Singh and Singh
other signal wavelengths such that;
1
λ
3
=
2
λ
1

1
λ
2
or
ω
3
= 2ω
1
−ω
2
where ω is angular frequency.
The wavelength conversion is an important component in all-
optical networks, since the wavelength of incoming signal may already
be in use by another information channel residing on the destined
outgoing path. Converting the incoming signal to new wavelength
will allow both information channels to traverse the same fiber
simultaneously.
Four-wave-mixing based wavelength conversion at 1.55 µm in
a 2.2 m long dispersion-shifted lead-silicate holy fiber has been
investigated [30]. It is shown that highly efficient and broadband
wavelength conversion, covering the entire C band, can be achieved
for such fibers at reasonable optical pump power.
Table 2. Comparison of nonlinear refractive effects.
Nonlinear
Phenomenon

Characteristics
SPM PM FWM
1. Bit-rate Dependent Dependent Independent
2. Origin

Nonlinear
susceptibility

χ
(3)

Nonlinear
susceptibility

(3)

Nonlinear
susceptibility

(3)

3. Effects of
(3)
Phase shift due to
itself only
Phase
due gating
signals
New es
generated
4. Shape
broadening
Symmetrical May be a symmetrical __
5. Energy transfer
between edium
and optical pulse
No No No
6. Channel spacing No effect Increases on
decreasing the spacing
Increases
decreasing the
spacing
C
χ χ
χ
of
m
pulse
wav are shift is alone
to copropa
on
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, PIER 73, 2007 273
6. COMPARISON OF DIFFERENT NONLINEAR
EFFECTS
Different nonlinear effects based on Kerr-effect are compared in
Table 2. The parameters taken are bit-rate, origin, effects of third-
order susceptibility, shape of broadening, energy transfer between
medium and optical pulse and effect of channel spacing.
7. CONCLUSION
Nonlinear effects such as SPM, CPM, and FWM are discussed. These
effects degrade the performance of fiber optic systems. Impact of
SPM is negligible if power per channel is below 19.6 mW. FWM has
severe effects in WDM systems, which uses dispersion-shifted fiber. If
some dispersion is their, then effect of FWM is reduced. That is why
non-zero dispersion-shifted fibers are normally used in WDM systems.
Though these effects degrade nature, they are also useful for many
applications such as SPM in solitons and pulse compression, CPM in
optical switching, and FWM in squeezing and wavelength conversion.
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250

Singh and Singh

Linear Output Nonlinear

Input

Figure 1. Linear and nonlinear interactions. Table 1. Nonlinear effects in optical fibers.
Nonlinear Effects in Optical Fibers

Nonlinear Refractive
Index Effects

Inelastic Scattering Effects

SPM

CPM

FWM

SRS

SBS

Except for SPM and CPM, all nonlinear effects provide gains to some channel at the expense of depleting power from other channels. SPM and CPM affect only the phase of signals and can cause spectral broadening, which leads to increased dispersion. Due to several recent events, the nonlinear effects in optical fibers are an area of academic research [1–4, 15, 17–20].

χ(2) vanishes. Defects and color centers inside the fiber core can also contribute to second harmonic generation under certain conditions.Progress In Electromagnetics Research. 2.) is kth order susceptibility. . Selfphase modulation. A medium. (ii) Use of in-line optical amplifiers has resulted in a substantial increase in the absolute value of the power carried by a fiber. PIER 73. The second order susceptibility χ(2) is responsible for secondharmonic generation and sum-frequency generation. . It is worth to mention here that. BASICS For intense electromagnetic fields. (iii) The deployment of multiwavelength systems together with optical amplifier. . 2. conclusion is presented in Section 7. (iv) The deployment of high-bit-rate (>10 Gbits/s per channel) systems. managements and applications are also given in these sections. 2007 251 (i) Use of single mode fiber (SMF) with small cross section of lightcarrying area has led to increased power intensity inside the fiber. Obviously the third order susceptibility χ(3) is responsible for lowest-order nonlinear effects in fibers [5]. The dominant contribution to P is provided by linear susceptibility χ(1) . 4 and 5 respectively. Fundamentally. which lacks inversion symmetry at the molecular level. has non-zero second order susceptibility. any dielectric medium behaves like a nonlinear medium. . cross-phase modulation and four-wave mixing are described in Sections 3. However for a symmetric molecule. Therefore optical fibers do not exhibit second order nonlinear refractive effects. Finally. This paper is organized as follows: The basics of nonlinear effects are discussed in Section 2. Due to this anharmonic motion the total polarization P induced by electric dipoles is not linear but satisfies more general relation as P = ε0 χ(1) E + ε0 χ(2) E 2 + ε0 χ(3) E 3 + · · · (1) where ε0 is the permittivity of vacuum and χ(k) (k = 1. These effects are compared in Section 6. Their thresholds. origin of nonlinearity lies in anharmonic motion of bound electrons under the influence of an applied field. the electricquadrupole and magnetic-dipole moments can generate weak second order nonlinear effects. like silica.

χ(2) vanishes. like optical fiber. For optical fibers. So one may use scalar notations instead of vector notations. Similarly fourth term with frequency 3ω is known as third harmonic of polarization. polarization vector P will always be in direction of electric field vector E. equation (3) can be written as 1 3 2 2 ε0 χ(2) E0 + ε0 χ(1) + χ(3) E0 E0 cos(ωt − kz) 2 4 1 1 2 3 + ε0 χ(2) E0 cos 2(ωt − kz) + ε0 χ(3) E0 cos 3(ωt − kz) + · · · (4) 2 4 The effect of first term is of little practical importance as it is a constant term and gives a dc field across the medium. E = E0 cos(ωt − kz) the polarization P becomes 2 P = ε0 χ(1) E0 cos(ωt − kz) + ε0 χ(2) E0 cos2 (ωt − kz) 3 +ε0 χ(3) E0 cos3 (ωt − kz) + · · · (2) (3) Using some trigonometric relations.252 Singh and Singh For isotropic medium. For an electric field. Hence. the intensity (I) is defined as. 1 2 I = cε0 nl E0 (7) 2 where c is velocity of light and nl is linear refractive index of the medium at low fields. P = ε0 χ(1) + 3 χ(3) IE0 cos(ωt − kz) 2 cε0 nl (8) . Due to variations in refractive index of the fiber there is lack of phase between frequencies ω and 3ω. Due to this phase mismatch the second term of equation (5) can be neglected and polarization can be written as 3 3 (6) P = ε0 χ(1) E0 cos(ωt − kz) + ε0 χ(3) E0 cos(ωt − kz) 4 This equation contains both linear (first term) and nonlinear (second term) polarizations. The second term oscillating at frequency ω is known as first or fundamental harmonic of polarization. The third term oscillating with frequency 2ω is called the second harmonic of polarization. and hence equation (4) becomes P = 3 1 2 3 P = ε0 χ(1) + χ(3) E0 E0 cos(ωt − kz) + ε0 χ(3) E0 cos 3(ωt − kz) (5) 4 4 Here higher order terms are neglected because their contribution is negligible. For a plane wave represented by equation (2).

this change in refractive index is very small. Effective Susceptibility and Effective Refractive Index The effective susceptibility (χef f ) of the medium is defined as. Effective Transmission Length The nonlinear effects depend on transmission length. For fused silica fibers nl ≈ 1. ∆n = nnl I ≈ 6.2. 2. χef f = P 3 χ(3) I = χ(1) + ε0 E 2 cε0 nl (9) Therefore. For the propagation of a mode carrying 100 mW of power in a single mode fiber with an effective mode area ≈ 50 µm2 . the accumulated effects (nonlinear) become significant. 2007 253 2.46 and nnl ≈ 3. this nonlinear term is responsible for the formation of solitons. Hence above expression for nef f can be approximated with help of Taylor’s series expansion as nef f = nl + or nef f = nl + nnl I 1 2 3 χ(3) I 4 cε0 n2 l (11) (12) In equation (12) first term [nl = (1 + χ(3) ) ] is linear refractive index χ(3) and second term (nnl = 3 cε n2 ) is nonlinear refractive index.4 × 10−11 Although.2 × 10−20 m2 /W. It is worth to mention that.000 km) of an optical fiber.1. effective refractive index (nef f ) can be written as nef f = (1 + χef f ) 2 or nef f = 1+χ (1) 1 3 χ(3) + I 2 cε0 n2 l 1 2 (10) The last term is usually very small even for very intense light beam. resultant intensity is 2 × 109 W/m2 and the change in refractive index due to nonlinear effect is. The longer the fiber link length. Higher 4 0 l order terms are negligible and hence neglected. PIER 73. but due to very long interaction length (10–10. the more the light interaction and greater the .Progress In Electromagnetics Research.

254 Singh and Singh nonlinear effect. (Figure 2) L Pin Lef f = z=0 P (z)dz (14) Using equations (13) and (14). As the optical beam propagates along the link length. For a actual link length (L). Launched power (Pin) Power Real power distribution Leff Link length Figure 2. The effective length (Lef f ) is that length. Definition of the effective length. P (z) = Pin exp(−αz) (13) where Pin is the input power (power at z = 0) and α is coefficient of attenuation. its power decreases because of fiber attenuation. Lef f = (1 − exp(−αz)) α (15) 1/α. . effective length is defined as. The optical power at a distance z along link is given as. effective link length is obtained as. This Since communication fibers are long enough so that L results in Lef f ≈ 1/α. up to which power is assumed to be constant [6].

The ordinate is the value relative to an amplifier spacing of 1 km. The Aef f is related to the actual area (A) and the cross-sectional distribution of . In a link of length L with amplifiers spaced l distance apart. And attenuation coefficient α = 0. PIER 73. the effective length is approximately given by. Obviously the effective length in such systems is sum of the effective length of each span. Relative value of Pin Lef f with respect to amplifier spacing. the signal gets amplified at each amplifier stage without resetting the effects due to nonlinearities from previous span. It is clear from this figure that effects of nonlinearities can be reduced by reducing the amplifier spacing. 2. The Figure 3 shows how Pin Lef f grows with amplifiers spacing (l).22 dB/km. it is reasonable to use effective cross-sectional area (Aef f ). Since the power is not uniformly distributed within the cross-section of the fiber. 2007 255 In optical systems with optical amplifiers.3. Lef f = (1 − exp(−αz)) L α l (16) Pin Leff 10000 1000 100 10 1 50 100 150 200 250 Amplifier Spacing (Km) Figure 3.Progress In Electromagnetics Research. Effective Cross-sectional Area The effect of nonlinearity grows with intensity in fiber and the intensity is inversely proportional to area of the core.

definition of effective area (Aef f ). SELF-PHASE MODULATION (SPM) The higher intensity portions of an optical pulse encounter a higher refractive index of the fiber compared with the lower intensity portions while it travels through the fiber. Definition of effective core area. This temporally varying index change results in a temporally varying phase change. this nonlinear phase modulation . The optical phase changes with time in exactly the same way as the optical signal [7]. θ) (17) where r and θ denote the polar coordinates. Figure 4 provides Launched power (Pin) Power Real power distribution √Aeff/π Radius Figure 4. In fact time varying signal intensity produces a time varying refractive index in a medium that has an intensity-dependant refractive index. 3.256 Singh and Singh intensity I(r.      r θ    Aef f =   2  rdrdθI (r. θ) in following way [6]. as shown in Figure 5. Since. The leading edge will experience a positive refractive index gradient (dn/dt) and trailing edge a negative refractive index gradient (−dn/dt). θ)  r θ rdrdθI(r.

PIER 73. 2007 Optical power 257 Front Back + dn/dt -dn/dt -2 -1 0 1 2 time dφ/dt Frequency chirp -2 -1 0 1 2 time Figure 5. This results in frequency chirping. Different parts of the pulse undergo different phase shift because of intensity dependence of phase fluctuations. is self-induced the nonlinear phenomenon responsible for it is called as self-phase modulation. Hence primary . The rising edge of the pulse finds frequency shift in upper side whereas the trailing edge experiences shift in lower side. Phenomenological description of spectral broadening of pulse due to SPM.Progress In Electromagnetics Research.

which modulates an optical carrier frequency ω (say) and the new instantaneous frequency becomes. (ωt − kz) i. For a fiber containing high-transmitted power n and L can be replaced by nef f and Lef f respectively i. ω = ω0 − dI 2π Lef f nnl λ dt (22) 2π Lef f (nl + nnl I) λ . consider a Gaussian pulse. The SPM effects are more pronounced in systems with high-transmitted power because the chirping effect is proportional to transmitted signal power. and nL is known as optical path length. To observe this.e. φ=− And therefore ω becomes. which is given by dφ ω= (20) dt In a dispersive medium a change in the spectrum of temporally varying pulse will change the nature of the variation. keeping the temporal shape unaltered. φ= or 2π nef f Lef f λ 2π (19) (nl + nnl I)Lef f λ The first term on right hand side refers to linear portion of phase constant (φl ) and second term provides nonlinear phase constant (φnl ).. If intensity is time dependent i. This variation in phase with time is responsible for change in frequency spectrum.e. the wave is temporally modulated then phase (φ) will also depend on time [9]. The phase (φ) introduced by a field E over a fiber length L is given by 2π nL (18) φ= λ where λ is wavelength of optical pulse propagating in fiber of refractive index n.258 Singh and Singh effect of SPM is to broaden the spectrum of the pulse [8]..e. φ= ω = ω0 + dφ dt (21) The sign of the phase shift due to SPM is negative because of the minus sign in the expression for phase..

It is dispersion that is responsible for pulse broadening. The SPM induced chirp modifies the pulse broadening effects of dispersion. frequency varies across the pulse. I(t) 0 t Figure 6. In other words.e. There is broadening of the spectrum without any change in temporal distribution in case of self-phase modulation while in case of dispersion. the SPM by itself leads only to chirping. < 0 so. ω = ω0 + ω(t) ω(t) = (24) dI 2π Lef f nnl (25) λ dt This shows that the pulse is chirped i. which leads to the spectral broadening of the pulse. there is broadening of the pulse in time domain and spectral contents are unaltered. regardless of the pulse shape. For a pulse with intensity varying as function of time. PIER 73. This chirping phenomenon is generated due to SPM. 2007 259 Clearly at leading edge of the pulse dI dt dI dt > 0 hence (23) ω = ω0 − ω(t) And at trailing edge where. Figures 6 and 7 show the variation of I(t) and dI/dt for a Gaussian pulse.. .Progress In Electromagnetics Research.

20]. one may obtain. which leads to dispersion penalty. with Lef f ≈ α . Thresholds and Management SPM arises due to intensity dependence of refractive index. 3. The power dependence of nonlinear phase constant (φnl ) is responsible for SPM impact on communication systems [5.1. it is necessary to have φnl constant (φnl ) can be written as φnl = knl Pin Lef f where nonlinear propagation constant knl = 1 So. chirped RZ or CRZ modulation can be adopted. α Pin knl . This penalty will be small if input power is less than certain threshold value. For a pulse with dI/dt varying as function of time. This change in phase induces additional chirp. For this. 2π nnl λ Aef f . Fluctuation in signal intensity causes change in phase of the signal. .260 Singh and Singh dI(t)/dt 0 t 0 Figure 7. To 1. Nonlinear phase reduce this impact. The appropriate chirping of the input pulses can also be beneficial for reducing the SPM effects.

Typically α = 0. Pulse spreading caused by SPM as a function of distance. So any mechanism that reduces interaction length decreases the effect of non-linearity.. The chirp produced by SPM. For Gaussian shaped pulse. PIER 73. and for a pulse that involves an abrupt change in power level (e. all nonlinear effects are weak and depend on long interaction length to build up. The performance of self-phase modulation-impaired system can 2. which causes broadening [10]. The damage due to SPM-induced pulse broadening on system performance depends on the power transmitted and length of the link.35 × 10−3 1/mW. which results in pulse spreading.8 1.4 0 50 10mW 1mW 20mW 150 200 Link length (km) Figure 8. An estimation of this is shown in Figure 8.8 0. The input power should be kept below 19. to have φnl 1 is equivalent to Pin knl . Therefore a suitable input pulse shape may be able to reduce the chirp and hence SPM induced broadening. . square pulse) the amount of chirp is greater.2 dB/km at λ = 1550 nm and knl = 2.g. The move to increase the span between in-line optical amplifiers. which shows that pulse can be twice as wide at the end of 200 km transmission as it was at the start. This increased power increases SPM effect on lightwave systems.4 1.6 mW.0 Relative phase width (t(z)/to) 1.Progress In Electromagnetics Research.0 0. The use of large-effective area fibers (LEAF) reduces intensity inside the fiber and hence SPM impact on the system. depends on the input pulse shape and the instantaneous power level within the pulse. the chirp is even and gradual. In general. 2007 261 α Therefore. more power must be launched into each fiber.

2. Another simple pulse compression scheme is based on filtering selfphase modulation-broadened spectrum [23]. the red-shifted leading edge of the pulse travels slower and moves toward the center of pulse.1. 18]. .2. and also moves toward the center of the pulse. in the wavelength region above zero dispersion wavelength. In the wavelength region where chromatic dispersion is positive.262 Singh and Singh be improved significantly by adjusting the net residual (NRD) of the system. In such situation the pulse would propagate undistorted by mutual compensation of dispersion and SPM. it has tremendous potential for applications in super high bandwidth optical communication systems. The NRD of SPM-impaired dispersion-managed systems can be optimized by a semi analytical expression obtained with help of perturbation theory. On the other hand the chirping caused by linear dispersion. is associated with higher frequencies in leading edge and lower frequencies in the trailing edge. Since soliton pulse does not broaden during its propagation. Pulse Compression SPM phenomenon can be used in pulse compression. one effect can be compensated with the other. By proper choice of pulse shape (a hyperbolic secant-shape) and the power carried by the pulse. the blue shifted trailing edge travels faster.2. Similarly. For SPM-impaired system the optimal NRD can be obtained by minimizing the output distortion of signal pulse. This method is verified by numerical simulations for many SPM-impaired systems [21. Applications of SPM Phenomenon Two important applications of SPM concept are in solitons and in pulse compression. In this situation SPM causes the pulses to narrow. 3. 3. 22]. 3.2. Such a pulse would broaden neither in the time domain (as in linear dispersion) nor in frequency domain (as in SPM) and is called soliton [11. Both these effects are opposite. Solitons SPM leads to chirping with lower frequencies in the leading edge and higher frequencies in the trailing edge.

The intensity dependence of refractive index leads to another nonlinear phenomenon known as cross-phase modulation (CPM).2 ns for a 3. CROSS PHASE MODULATION (CPM) SPM is the major nonlinear limitation in a single channel system. There is a novel technique for all-optical delays which involves spectral broadening via self-phase modulation and wavelength filtering [24. it is desirable to have all-optical components for buffering and delaying signal pulses. When two or more optical pulses propagate simultaneously.5-ps input pulse is demonstrated by using this technique. The effective refractive index of a nonlinear medium can be expressed in terms of the input power (P ) and effective core area (Aef f ) as. 25]. The performance of such regenerators is experimentally verified for 40 Gb/s data rate.2. the optical /electronic conversion of information puts limit on transmission data rate. In fact CPM converts power fluctuations in a particular wavelength channel to phase fluctuations in other copropagating channels.2.4. Tunable all-optical delays are important for application in telecommunication. The introduction of a predistortion block configuration including a highly non-linear fiber enhances the chromatic dispersion tolerance.Progress In Electromagnetics Research. The result of CPM may be asymmetric spectral broadening and distortion of the pulse shape. 3.3. 2007 263 3. If the first-order perturbation theory is applied to investigate how fiber modes are affected by the nonlinear . Tunable delays of more than 4. 4. the cross-phase modulation is always accompanied by SPM and occurs because the nonlinear refractive index seen by an optical beam depends not only on the intensity of that beam but also on the intensity of the other copropagating beams [13]. Therefore. Optically Tunable Delays In ultra-high speed optical communications. P (26) nef f = nl + nnl Aef f The nonlinear effects depend on ratio of light power to the crosssectional area of the fiber. Optical 40 Gb/s 3R Regenerator Combined effect of self-phase modulation and cross-absorption modulation is utilized in all optical 3R regenerators [26]. PIER 73. optical coherence tomography and optical sampling.

nl φ1 = kef f Lef f (P1 + 2P2 ) nl (30) For N -channel transmission system. the intensity-dependent phase shift . CPM hinders the system performance through the same mechanism as SPM: chirping frequency and chromatic dispersion. Due to this overlapping. CPM imposes a power limit of 0. Theoretically.   φi nl = knl Lef f Pi + 2 N Pn  (31) n=i The factor 2 in above equation has its origin in the form of nonlinear susceptibility [5] and indicates that CPM is twice as effective as SPM for the same amount of power. CPM influences the system severely when number of channels is large. For two channels.1.264 Singh and Singh refractive index. It can be observed that CPM is effective only when the interacting signals superimpose in time. Thresholds and Management The CPM-induced phase shift can occur only when two pulses overlap in time. kef f = kl + knl P (27) where kl is the linear portion of the propagation constant and knl is nonlinear propagation constant. The phase shift caused by nonlinear propagation constant in traveling a distance L inside fiber is given as L φnl = 0 (kef f − kl )dz (28) Using equations (27) and (14) nonlinear phase shift becomes. 4. it is found that the mode shape does not change but the propagation constant becomes power dependent. for a 100-channels system. but CPM can damage the system performance even more than SPM. the shift for ith channel can be given as [8].1 mW per channel. φ1 can be given as. φnl = knl Pin Lef f (29) When several optical pulses propagate simultaneously the nonlinear phase shift of first channel φ1 (say) depends not only on nl the power of that channel but also on signal power of other channels. The first term in above equation represents the contribution of SPM and second term that of CPM.

CPM converts power fluctuations in a particular wavelength channel to phase fluctuations in other copropagating channels. Thus. Optical Switching Phase shift. Keeping inter action length small. Therefore the pulse broadening is also enhanced. one can reduce this kind of nonlinearity. 2007 265 and consequent chirping is enhanced.Progress In Electromagnetics Research. in an optical pulse.1. The effects of CPM can be reduced by increasing the wavelength spacing between individual channels. experiences identical phase shifts in each arm and is transmitted through constructive interference. which limits the performance of lightwave systems. divided equally between its two arms. cease to be so after propagating for some distance and cannot interact further. effect of CPM is reduced. 4. Due to this pulse walk-off phenomenon the pulses. For increased wavelength spacing. One more advantage of this kind of fiber is its effective core area. Applications of CPM Phenomenon Optical switching and pulse compression can be done through the CPM phenomenon. This leads to broadening of pulse. When a pump pulse at different wavelength is injected into one of the arms. The long interaction length is always helpful in building up this effect up to a significant level. .2. 20]. it will change the signal phase through CPM phenomenon in that arm. In a WDM system. Thus an intense pump pulse can switch the signal pulse. the propagation constants of these channels become sufficiently different so that the pulses corresponding to individual channels walk away from each other. which were initially temporally coincident. Like SPM. To take advantage of CPM-induced phase shift for ultra-fast optical switching many interferometric methods have been used [5]. which is typically 80 µm2 . In fact. the CPM also depends on interaction length of fiber. This large effective area is helpful in reducing nonlinear effects because knl is inversely proportional to Aef f . It can be greatly mitigated in WDM systems operating over standard nondispersion shifted single mode fiber [14.2. owing to fiber dispersion. due to CPM phenomenon can be used for optical switching. PIER 73. pulse overlaps for such a short time that CPM effects are virtually negligible. If the CPM-induced phase shift is large (close to π). Consider a interferometer designed in such a way that a weak signal pulse. this much phase shift results in destructive interference and hence no transmission of signal pulse. 4.

The electric . In order to understand the FWM effect [6]. (χ(3) ) generates a fourth field with frequency ω4 . copropagate inside the fiber simultaneously. wavelength and initial delay relative to the signal pulse.3. temporal and spatial properties of ultra-short pulses can be controlled [27. but the FWM effect is independent of the bit rate and is critically dependant on the channel spacing and fiber dispersion. With help of this phenomenon spectral. consider a WDM signal. but the CPM is able to compress even weak input pulses because copropagating intense pump pulse produces the frequency chirp. Pulse Compression Like SPM induced frequency chirp. SPM and CPM are significant mainly for high bit rate systems. The CPM induced chirp is affected by pulse walk-off and depends critically on the initial relative pumpsignal delay. As a result the use of CPM induced pulse compression requires a careful control of the pump pulse parameters such as its width. FWM occurs when photons from one or more waves are annihilated and new photons are created at different frequencies such that net energy and momentum are conserved during the interaction. which is related to other frequencies by a relation. ω2 and ω3 . ω4 = ω1 ±ω2 ±ω3 . FOUR-WAVE MIXING (FWM) The origin of FWM process lies in the nonlinear response of bound electrons of a material to an applied optical field. Decreasing the channel spacing increases the four-wave mixing effect and so does decreasing the dispersion. peak power. If three optical fields with carrier frequencies ω1 . the polarization induced in the medium contains not only linear terms but also the nonlinear terms.2.266 Singh and Singh 4. The SPM techniques require the input pulse to be intense and energetic. In quantum-mechanical context. the CPM induced frequency chirp can also be used for pulse compression.2. In fact. 28]. Pulse Retiming In an anomalous-dispersion polarization-maintained fiber ultra-fast optical pulses can be retimed by utilizing cross-phase modulation phenomenon. 5. which is sum of n monochromatic plane waves. 4. The magnitude of these terms is governed by the nonlinear susceptibilities of different orders. The FWM process originates from third order nonlinear susceptibility (χ(3) ).2.

third and fourth terms can be neglected because of phase mismatch. The phase mismatch can also be understood as the mismatch in phase between different signals traveling within the fiber at different group velocities. in real fibers k(3ω) = 3k(ω) so any difference like (3ω − 3k) is called as phase mismatch. Second. The last term . 2007 267 field of such signal can be written as n E= p=1 Ep cos(ωp t − kp z) (32) Then the nonlinear polarization is given by Pnl = ε0 χ(3) E 3 For this case Pnl takes the form as n n n (33) Pnl = ε0 χ (3) p=1 q=1 r=1 Ep cos(ωp t−kp z)Eq cos(ωq t−tq z)Er cos(ωr t−kr z) (34) Expansion of above expression gives.Progress In Electromagnetics Research. All these waves can be neglected because they contribute little. The reason behind this phase mismatch is that. n 3 2 Ep + 2 Ep Eq Ep cos(ωp t − tp z) Pnl = ε0 χ(3) 4 p=1 q=p n 1 3 + ε0 χ(3) Ep cos(3ωp t − 3kp z) 4 p=1 n 3 2 + ε0 χ(3) Ep Eq cos{(2ωp − ωq )t − (2kp − kq )z} 4 p=1 q=p n 3 2 + ε0 χ(3) Ep Eq cos{(2ωp + ωq )t − (2kp + kq )z} 4 p=1 q=1 n 6 + ε0 χ(3) Ep Eq Er cos{(2ωp +ωq + ωr )t−(kp +kq +kr )z} 4 p=1 q>p r>q + cos{(ωp + ωq + ωr )t − (kp + kq + kr )z} + cos{(ωp − ωq + ωr )t − (kp − kq + kr )z} + cos{(ωp − ωq − ωr )t − (kp − kq − kr )z} (35) The first terms in above equation represents the effect of SPM and CPM. PIER 73.

three copropagating waves will create nine new optical sideband waves at frequencies given by equation (36). Similarly. they generate sidebands at (2ω1 − ω2 ) and (2ω2 − ω1 ). which tells that three EM waves propagating in a fiber generate new waves [16] with frequencies (ωp ± ωq ± ωr ). In general for N -wavelengths launched into fiber. The higher the group velocity mismatch and wider the channel spacing. the signal waves and the generated waves have different group velocities. Figure 9 shows a simple example of mixing of two waves at frequency ω1 and ω2 . In compact form all these combinations can be written as ωpqr = ωp + ωq − ωr with p. The last term of polarization expression tells that FWM comes from frequency combinations like (ωp + ωq − ωr ). This destroys the phase matching of interacting waves and lowers the efficiency of power transfer to newly generated frequencies. This is shown in Figure 10. the lower the fourwave mixing. q = r (36) (2ω1-ω2) ω1 Frequency (ω) ω2 (2ω2-ω1) Figure 9. the number of generated mixed products M is. The curves show the frequency-spacing range over which the FWM process is efficient for . These sidebands travel along with original waves and will grow at the expense of signal-strength depletion.268 Singh and Singh represents phenomenon of four-wave mixing. It is this term. M = N 2 /2 · (N − 1) The efficiency FWM depends on fiber dispersion and the channel spacing. Since the dispersion varies with wavelength. Showing mixing of two waves. Four-wave mixing (FWM) is analogous to intermodulation distortion in electrical systems. When these waves mixed up.

e. BER is increased). In order to achieve original BER. channel spacing must be increased. But for DSFs. frequencies with separations less than 20 GHz will mix efficiently. It is clear that in conventional SMFs. FWM itself is interchannel crosstalk it induces interference of information from one channel with another channel. Thresholds and Management Four-wave mixing process results in power transfer from one channel to other.Progress In Electromagnetics Research. Efficiency of four wave mixing with respect to channel separation. Since. which degrades the performance of that channel (i. This interference again degrades the system performance.1. This increases the group velocity mismatch between channels and hence FWM penalty is reduced. 5. 2007 269 100 80 Efficiency (%) 60 DSF (With 1-ps/nm. Penalty due to FWM can be reduced if a little chromatic dispersion is present in the fiber. Due to chromatic dispersion. FWM efficiencies are greater than 20% for separation upto 50 GHz. two dispersion values.km dispersion in 1550 nm window) 40 20 0 SMF (16-ps/nm-km disperion in 1550nm window) 50 100 Channel separation (GHz) Figure 10.. Four-wave mixing presents a severe problem in WDM systems using dispersion-shifted fibers (DSF) [12]. To reduce this degradation. PIER 73. different interacting waves travel with . This phenomenon results in power depletion of the channel. some additional power is required which is termed as power penalty.

effective fiber length (Lef f ) and. then it results in interference causing degradation in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). This effect can be reduced by using modified repeated unequally spaced channel allocation [29]. of course. A non-zero dispersion-shifted fiber is used for this purpose.270 Singh and Singh different group velocities. FWM produces severe limitations on performance of WDM alloptical networks. 100 SMF 10 Maximum transmit power per channel (mW) 1. This results in reduced efficiency of FWM and hence penalty. Maximum transmitted power per channel versus distance imposed by FWM. This limitation for system operating over standard single-mode fiber (SMF) and dispersion-shifted fiber (DSF) is shown in Figure 11. The number of FWM components increases with the increase in number of users.1 DSF 0.01 100 Distance (km) 1000 10000 Figure 11. Using NZ-DSF of large effective area and small effective length with reduced transmitted signal power results in reduction of penalty due to FWM process. The FWM imposes limitations on the maximum transmit power per channel. . on the intensity of transmitted signal.0 0. Like other nonlinear effects limitations of FWM on a communication system depend on the effective area (Aef f ). If these generated wavelengths coincide with the original signal wavelength.

in some frequency range. are reduced below the quantum-noise level [5]. squeezing can be understood as deamplification of signal and idler waves for certain values of relative phase between the two waves. A phenomenological method of wavelength conversion is shown in Figure 12.Progress In Electromagnetics Research.2. Squeezing The FWM process can be used to reduce quantum noise through a phenomenon called squeezing. Physically. Applications of FWM Process Two important applications of FWM are squeezing and wavelength conversion. Noise is reduced below the quantum-noise level when the phase of the local oscillator is adjusted to match the relative phase corresponding to the photon pair. 2007 271 5. The function of wavelength converter is to transform information from one wavelength to another. 5. PIER 73. FWM can be used for squeezing as noise components at the signal and idler frequencies are coupled through the fiber nonlinearity. When a data input (λ1 ) and a probe signal (λ2 ) are injected into a nonlinear medium.2. due to mixing process a new signal (λ3 ) is generated in association with Data signal (λ 1) Nonlinear Medium All signals at different wavelengths Filter Converted signal ( λ 3) Probe signal (λ 2) Figure 12. In fact squeezing is a process of generating the special states of an electromagnetic field for which noise fluctuations. . These are described below. 5.1. Phenomenological description of wavelength conversion through FWM process. Wavelength Conversion Four-wave-mixing phenomenon can be used effectively for wavelength conversion too.2.whose number was reduced as a result of FWM process. Photons of random phases are generated due to spontaneous emission at the signal and idler frequencies.2. Four-wave mixing process increases or decreases the number of signal-idler photon pairs depending on their relative phases.

Nonlinear Phenomenon Characteristics SPM CPM FWM 1. It is shown that highly efficient and broadband wavelength conversion. Table 2. Shape of broadening 5.55 µm in a 2. 2 1 1 = − λ3 λ1 λ2 or ω3 = 2ω1 − ω2 where ω is angular frequency. covering the entire C band. Converting the incoming signal to new wavelength will allow both information channels to traverse the same fiber simultaneously.272 Singh and Singh other signal wavelengths such that. since the wavelength of incoming signal may already be in use by another information channel residing on the destined outgoing path. The wavelength conversion is an important component in alloptical networks. Four-wave-mixing based wavelength conversion at 1. Channel spacing Phase shift due to Phase shift is alone pulse itself only due to copropagating signals Symmetrical May be a symmetrical No No No effect Increases on decreasing the spacing Increases on decreasing the spacing . Energy transfer between m edium and optical pulse 6. Comparison of nonlinear refractive effects. can be achieved for such fibers at reasonable optical pump power. Effects of χ (3) 4. Origin Dependent Nonlinear susceptibility χ (3) Dependent Nonlinear susceptibility χ (3) Independent Nonlinear susceptibility χ (3) New waves are generated __ No 3. Bit-rate 2.2 m long dispersion-shifted lead-silicate holy fiber has been investigated [30].

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