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You are on page 1of 27

**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)

+ε

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

cε

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)

cε

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)

cε

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)

cε

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)

cε

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)

cε

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 =

2π

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 =

2π

λ

n

eff

L

eff

or

φ =

2π

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 =

dφ

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

+

dφ

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 = −

2π

λ

L

eff

(n

l

+ n

nl

I)

And therefore ω becomes,

ω

= ω

0

−

2π

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) =

2π

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

=

2π

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

=ε

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

+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}

+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

+ω

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].

2103–2108.” Proc. Akimaru. 6. energy transfer between medium and optical pulse and eﬀect of channel spacing. Agrawal. FWM has severe eﬀects in WDM systems. G. Sivarajan. “Elements of the emerging broadband information highway. Quantum Electron. 5. Nonlinear Fiber Optics. and R. CPM in optical switching. If some dispersion is their. 1997. then eﬀect of FWM is reduced. PD 1. Morgan Kaufmann Pub. “35 GHz spaced 20 GbtsX100 WDM RZ transmission over 2700 km using SMFbased dispersion ﬂattened ﬁber span. Stresa. and M. shape of broadening. Optical Communication. 3. 1998. 2. 2007 273 6. Morita. 3–7.. R. COMPARISON OF DIFFERENT NONLINEAR EFFECTS Diﬀerent nonlinear eﬀects based on Kerr-eﬀect are compared in Table 2. H.” Proc. Sep. 7. Impact of SPM is negligible if power per channel is below 19. T. I. and M. 4.. Bigo. 34. 1998. they are also useful for many applications such as SPM in solitons and pulse compression. P. and FWM in squeezing and wavelength conversion. Tsuritani. N. A. Agata. R. Suzaka. . Chraplyvy.. 2001. San Francisco.Progress In Electromagnetics Research. T. and FWM are discussed. Finley. Tanaka. Germany. CA. Mag. Topical Meeting on Optical Ampliﬁers and Their Applications (OAA’01).5. Tkach.” IEEE Commun. W. CPM. San Diego. July 1–7. “Terabit/second transmission experiments. Ramaswami. 40–41.6 mW.. Vol. Inc. origin. 84–94. PIER 73. 2000. These eﬀects degrade the performance of ﬁber optic systems. 3rd edition. Miyakawa. The parameters taken are bit-rate. 35. S. and K. A. eﬀects of thirdorder susceptibility. Imai. Academic Press. 2001. which uses dispersion-shifted ﬁber. Though these eﬀects degrade nature. That is why non-zero dispersion-shifted ﬁbers are normally used in WDM systems. Edagawa. Eur. R. Vol. REFERENCES 1. Conf. “Design of multi-tera bit/s transmission systems.” IEEE J. CONCLUSION Nonlinear eﬀects such as SPM. K. K. Munich.. Optical Networks — A Practical Perspective..

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