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- filter; electro-optic; lithium niobate; wavelength; polarization
Programmable two-port polarization independent electro-optically wavelength tunable filters based on asymmetric Mach-Zehnder structure in LiNbO3 substrate have been developed for 1.55 µm application. The operation principle is based on Mach-Zehnder interference and TE↔TM polarization conversion. Fabrication parameters for channel waveguides, polarization converters and bandpass filters have been optimized. Straight channel waveguides 7 µm in width were produced by diffusing 1116 Å thick Ti into LiNbO3 substrate at 1035°C for 10 hours. Single mode guiding has been realized for both TE and TM polarization. Insertion loss of 2.9 dB for TE polarization input and 3.3 dB for TM polarization input were achieved on a 46 mm long sample. Single sideband programmable polarization mode converters were produced with 16 electrode sets, each containing 64 grating periods. Programmability was achieved by applying spatially periodic weighted independent voltages to interdigital electrode sets, and controlled electronically via a personal computer through a digital-to-analog converter array chip. Maximum conversion efficiency of more than 99% was realized for both TM→TE and TE→TM, and was observed at 1530.48 nm. Two-port polarization independent electro-optically tunable wavelength filters were produced based on the results obtained above. The 3 dB bandwidth is 1.1 nm and the nearest side lobes to the main transmission are down by about 9 dB for uniform coupling. Side lobes are reduced to about 20 dB below peak transmission after apodization, and the 3 dB bandwidths increased to ~ 1.3 nm as a result. Seven channels (channel -4, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 and +4) were selectable by programming the voltages on each electrode set. Channel spacing is 1.1~1.2 nm. The tuning ranges from 1524.04 to 1533.56 nm. Fiber-to-fiber insertion loss of the filter at center frequency is 4.3 dB for TE input and 4.2 dB for TM input. The polarization dependent loss is < 0.5 dB for all selectable channels. The temporal response to a 21 V step change in applied voltages was measured to be 586 ns for the 10%-90% rise time and 2.308 µs for the 90%-10% fall time. This research work provides a convenient scheme for making programmable two-port tunable bandpass filters and ROADMs.