Superchannel engineering of microcombs for optical communications
Journal article, 2019

Microresonator frequency combs (microcombs) are a promising technology for generating frequency carriers for wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) systems. Multi-terabit per second WDM coherent transmitters have recently been demonstrated using both dissipative Kerr solitons and mode-locked dark pulses in optical microresonators. These experiments have focused on microcombs designed to cover a large portion of the erbium-doped fiber window. However, the question of optimum bandwidth for microcombs in WDM systems has not been addressed. Here we show that segmenting the bandwidth into smaller microcomb-driven superchannels results in an improvement of power per line. Through numerical simulations we establish a quantitative comparison between dark-pulse and soliton microcombs in WDM systems, including aspects such as conversion efficiency, tolerance to intrinsic cavity loss, and group velocity dispersion engineering. We show that the improvement of minimum line power scales linearly with the number of superchannels for both types of microcombs. This work provides useful guidelines for the design of multi-terabit per second microcomb-based superchannel systems.

wavelength division multiplexing

temporal solitons

microresonator frequency combs

fiber-optic communications


Òskar Bjarki Helgason

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Photonics

Attila Fülöp

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Photonics

Jochen Schröder

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Photonics

Peter Andrekson

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Photonics

Andrew M Weiner

Purdue University

Victor Torres Company

Chalmers, Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), Photonics

Journal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics

0740-3224 (ISSN)

Vol. 36 8 2013-2022

Mikroresonatorbaserade frekvenskamsgeneratorer för koherent kommunikation

Swedish Research Council (VR) (2016-03960), 2017-01-01 -- 2020-12-31.

Dark-Soliton Engineering in Microresonator Frequency Combs (DarkComb)

European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/771410), 2018-05-01 -- 2023-04-30.

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (SO 2010-2017, EI 2018-)


C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)

Subject Categories

Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics

Other Physics Topics

Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering



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