Optical nonlinearities in quantum dot lasers for high-speed communications

Abstract : The recent evolution of optical communication systems is such that the transfer of massive amounts of information is no longer limited to long-distance transoceanic links or backbone networks. Numerous short-reach applications requiring high data throughputs are emerging, not only in access networks, where upgrades of the bit rate of fiber-to-the-home systems need to be anticipated, but also in data center networks where huge amounts of information may need to be exchanged between servers, in part triggered by the rise of big data applications. The new requirements in terms of cost and energy consumption set by novel short-reach applications therefore need to be considered in the design and operation of a new generation of semiconductor laser sources. Owing to the tight quantum confinement of carriers, quantum dot lasers constitute a class of oscillators exhibiting superior characteristics such as a lower operating threshold, a better thermal stability as well as larger optical nonlinearities. The investigation of quantum dot lasers operating under external perturbations allows probing such optical nonlinearities in the view of developing all-optical wavelength-converters with improved performance as well as optical feedback-resistant transmitters. This last point iseven more critical since it is expected that short-reach links making use of directly modulated sources will experience massive deployment in the near future, in contrast to conventional backbone links where the number of required optoelectronic interfaces remains relatively modest. In order to do so, the thesis reports on novel findings in GaAs- and InP-based quantum dot lasers such as improved bandwidth and conversion efficiency under optical injection and various complex dynamics with delayed quantum dot oscillators emitting on different lasing states. Last but not the least, the massive deployment of coherent systems as well as the realization of future chip-scale atomic clocks require the implementation of optical sources with narrow spectral linewidth otherwise the sensitivity to the phase noise of both transmitters and local oscillators can strongly affect the bit error rates at the receiver. This is another objective to be addressed in the thesis where the benefits of the quantum dot technology has allowed to reach a spectral linewidth as low as 160 kHz (100 kHz under optical feedback) which is of paramount importance not only regarding the aforementioned applications.
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Heming Huang. Optical nonlinearities in quantum dot lasers for high-speed communications. Optics / Photonic. Télécom ParisTech, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017ENST0012⟩. ⟨tel-02112135⟩

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