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Microwave Optoelectronic Oscillator with Optical Gain



Craig W. Nelson, Archita Hati, David A. Howe, W Zhou


Optoelectronic oscillators (OEO) are unique compared to radio-frequency (RF) oscillators in that they do not fundamentally require a RF gain element in order to satisfy the amplitude threshold condition for oscillation. All the energy required for oscillation can be obtained from the optical carrier. This, however, was not initially possible due to the inefficiency and power limitations on the optical components used in the OEO. Recent improvements driven by the need for optical-RF links have improved modulator and detector technology. Electro-optic modulators (EOM) with ultra low half-wave voltage (Vπ) and high optical power capabilities, when coupled with high-power photodetectors have achieved optical links with gain. With sufficient gain from the photonic components in the OEO, the RF loop amplifier becomes unnecessary. Eliminating this a amplifier removes one of the major noise contributing elements of the oscillator. We will present the designs and phase noise results of several OEOs, operating at RF frequencies up to 10 GHz, constructed using only optical gain.
Proceedings Title
Proc. 2007 Joint Mtg. IEEE Intl. Freq. Cont. Symp. and EFTF Conf.
Conference Dates
May 28-June 1, 2007
Conference Location
Geneva, CH
Conference Title
Proc. EFTF


low phase noise, optoelectronic oscillator, photonic oscillator, rin suppression


Nelson, C. , Hati, A. , Howe, D. and Zhou, W. (2007), Microwave Optoelectronic Oscillator with Optical Gain, Proc. 2007 Joint Mtg. IEEE Intl. Freq. Cont. Symp. and EFTF Conf., Geneva, CH, [online], (Accessed April 16, 2024)
Created May 29, 2007, Updated January 27, 2020