London: Researchers from University of Southampton have revealed a breakthrough in optical fibre communications.
In collaboration with colleagues at Eblana Photonics in Ireland, researchers from the university's Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have developed a new approach that enables direct modulation of laser currents to be used to generate highly advanced modulation format signals.
The work explores a radically new approach to the generation of spectrally-efficient advanced modulation format signals as required in modern optical communication systems.
This new technology avoids the need for costly and power-inefficient external modulator schemes that are currently used to generate such signals.
"Our paper highlights the exquisite control that we have achieved over the optical field generated directly from a current-modulated semiconductor laser," said Radan Slavik, principal research fellow at the ORC.
Direct current modulated lasers are of huge commercial relevance and are already widely used in optical communications, telecommunications and sensor and high power fibre laser systems.
However, the inability to accurately control the full optical field emitted directly from such lasers has been a fundamental problem, limiting applications.
"The new capability could have a significant impact within many scientific and engineering communities that are directly concerned with or exploit laser radiation," Slavik said.