THz signal generator using a single DFB laser diode and the unbalanced optical fiber interferometer.

This paper presents a frequency-modulated optical signal generator in the THz band. The proposed method is based on a fast optical frequency sweep of a single narrowband laser diode used together with an optical fiber interferometer. The optical frequency sweep using a single laser diode is achieved by generating short current pulses with a high amplitude, which are driving the laser diode. Theoretical analysis showed that the modulation frequency could be changed by the optical path difference of the interferometer or optical frequency sweep rate of a laser diode. The efficiency of the optical signal generator with Michelson and Fabry–Perot interferometers is theoretically analyzed and experimentally evaluated for three different scenarios. Interferometers with different optical path differences and a fixed optical frequency sweep rate were used in the first scenario. Different optical frequency sweep rates and fixed optical path differences of the interferometers were used in the second scenario. This paper presents a method for optical chirp generation using a programmable current pulse waveform, which drives a laser diode to achieve nonlinear optical sweep with a fixed optical path difference of the interferometer. The experimental results showed that the proposed signals could be generated within a microwave (1–30 GHz) and THz band (0.1–0.3 THz).

Sensors2020, 20(17), 4862;