Fibre-based devices for next generation photonics communication systems
The future broadband information network will undoubtedly integrate the mobility and flexibility of wireless access systems with the huge bandwidth capacity of photonics solutions to enable a communication system capable of handling the anticipated demand for interactive services. Towards wide coverage and low cost implementations of such broadband wireless photonics communication networks, various aspects of the enabling technologies are continuingly generating intense research interest. Among the core technologies, the optical generation and distribution of radio frequency signals over fibres, and the fibre optic signal processing of optical and radio frequency signals, have been the subjects for study in this thesis. Based on the intrinsic properties of single-mode optical fibres, and in conjunction with the concepts of optical fibre delay line filters and fibre Bragg gratings, a number of novel fibre-based devices, potentially suitable for applications in the future wireless photonics communication systems, have been realised. Special single-mode fibres, namely, the high birefringence (Hi-Bi) fibre and the Er/Yb doped fibre have been employed so as to exploit their merits to achieve practical and cost-effective all-fibre architectures. A number of fibre-based complex signal processors for optical and radio frequencies using novel Hi-Bi fibre delay line filter architectures have been illustrated. In particular, operations such as multichannel flattop bandpass filtering, simultaneous complementary outputs and bidirectional nonreciprocal wavelength interleaving, have been demonstrated. The proposed configurations featured greatly reduced environmental sensitivity typical of coherent fibre delay line filter schemes, reconfigurable transfer functions, negligible chromatic dispersions, and ease of implementation, not easily achievable based on other techniques. A number of unique fibre grating devices for signal filtering and fibre laser applications have been realised. The concept of the superimposed fibre Bragg gratings has been extended to non-uniform grating structures and into Hi-Bi fibres to achieve highly useful grating devices such as overwritten phase-shifted fibre grating structure and widely/narrowly spaced polarization-discriminating filters that are not limited by the intrinsic fibre properties. In terms of the-fibre-based optical millimetre wave transmitters, unique approaches based on fibre laser configurations have been proposed and demonstrated. The ability of the dual-mode distributed feedback (DFB) fibre lasers to generate high spectral purity, narrow linewidth heterodyne signals without complex feedback mechanisms has been illustrated. A novel co-located dual DFB fibre laser configuration, based on the proposed superimposed phase-shifted fibre grating structure, has been further realised with highly desired operation characteristics without the need for costly high frequency synthesizers and complex feedback controls. Lastly, a novel cavity mode condition monitoring and optimisation scheme for short length, linear-cavity fibre lasers has been proposed and achieved. Based on the concept and simplicity of the superimposed fibre laser cavities structure, in conjunction with feedback controls, enhanced output performances from the fibre lasers have been achieved. The importance of such cavity mode assessment and feedback control for optimised fibre laser output performance has been illustrated.