Optical code division multiple access systems in AlGaInAs/InP.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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The rise of photonic integration makes optical code division multiple access (OCDMA) worth revisiting due to its promising role in future all-optical networks. OCDMA has the potential to exploit the surplus bandwidth of optical fibres and to carry over to the optical domain the benefits seen CDMA radio communication systems, such as the effective sharing of the spectrum for multiple network subscribers, and resistance to jamming and eavesdropping. One of the major requirements for the deployment of OCDMA in networks is integration.
This thesis presents a research study of integrated OCDMA systems using the AlGaInAs/InP semiconductor material system. This material is considered due to its useful intrinsic properties such as thermal stability, strong electron confinement, and low threshold, making it suitable for fabricating optoelectronic devices. Two bespoke OCDMA systems are considered for integration: coherent temporal phase coding (TPC), and incoherent wavelength-hopping time-spreading (WHTS) OCDMA systems. TPC systems are excellent for high speed communications due to their static en/decoding enabling features. In this research, a 2×2 asymmetric Mach Zehnder interferometer (AMZI) is used to generate a 2-bit phase code, allowing multiplexing for up to four users. A semiconductor mode-locked ring laser is also embedded in the circuit, and using a synchronous mode-locking method, adequate signal en/decoding is achieved. WHTS systems on the other hand fully exploit the spectral and temporal space available in networks by assigning each user with a unique wavelength-time hop sequence for en/decoding data signals. Here, a mode-locked laser array is used with intracavity distributed Bragg reflectors (DBRs) for spectrally tuning each laser, and a 4:1 multimode interference coupler is used to combine the laser signals into a single channel for amplification, modulation and transmission. The integrated system is fully characterised and synchronisation experiments are performed to show the potential for its use in high speed multi-user networks.
Mode-locked lasers play an important role in many OCDMA implementations due to their wide spectrum and discrete temporal properties, which can be easily exploited during data en/decoding. Various mode-locked laser devices have been studied during this research with additional embedded components such as intracavity DBRs and phase controllers for precise tuning of the wavelength and pulse repetition frequency. However, the noisy nature of passively operating mode-locked lasers make them prone to high jitter, which can result in high bit error rates. Synchronisation schemes are thereby explored in order to temporally stabilise the pulse oscillations to make them suitable for use in long haul transmission systems. This includes synchronous and hybrid mode-locking, as well as a passive technique using an optical fibre loop to provide phase feedback, which is shown to promote ultralow RF linewidths in mode-locked lasers.
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