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Electro-optically derived millimeter-wave sources with phase and amplitude control



Bryan Bosworth, Nick Jungwirth, Kassi Smith, Jerome Cheron, Franklyn Quinlan, Ari Feldman, Dylan Williams, Nate Orloff, Chris Long


Integrated circuits are building blocks in millimeter-wave handsets and base stations, requiring nonlinear characterization to optimize performance and energy efficiency. Today's sources use digital-to-analog converters to synthesize arbitrary electrical waveforms for nonlinear characterization, but this approach demands even faster integrated circuits to increase the bandwidth to millimeter-waves. Optically derived sources are a potential path to generate precise millimeter-waves without having to multiple up from a 10 MHz reference. In this work, we demonstrate optically derived millimeter-waves up to 99.2 GHz with phase and amplitude control that could be locked to an optical reference. Our approach uses a 1550 nm electro-optic frequency comb with a terahertz of bandwidth. A programmable spectral filter selects two wavelengths from the optical comb, illuminating a uni-traveling carrier photodiode on a coplanar waveguide. We then tune the phase and amplitude by varying the optical phase and amplitude in the programmable spectral filter. The result of our work is electro-optically derived millimeter-waves at (24.8, 49.6, 74.4, 99.2) GHz 24.8, 49.6, 74.4, 99.2 GHz, programmable phase control in 25 milliradian steps , and programmable amplitude control in 0.1 dB steps. Our findings take a step towards precision arbitrary waveform synthesis of millimeter waves.
Applied Physics Letters


millimeter waves, optical frequency comb, photodiodes, optical synthesizer


Bosworth, B. , Jungwirth, N. , Smith, K. , Cheron, J. , Quinlan, F. , Feldman, A. , Williams, D. , Orloff, N. and Long, C. (2021), Electro-optically derived millimeter-wave sources with phase and amplitude control, Applied Physics Letters, [online],, (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created October 12, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022