RF and microwave fractional differentiation with transversal filters using a soliton crystal microcomb multiwavelength source

We report a photonic radio frequency (RF) fractional differentiator based on an integrated Kerr micro-comb source. The micro-comb source has a free spectral range (FSR) of 49 GHz, generating a large number of comb lines that serve as a high-performance multi-wavelength source for the differentiator. By programming and shaping the comb lines according to calculated tap weights, arbitrary fractional orders ranging from 0.15 to 0.90 are achieved over a broad RF operation bandwidth of 15.49 GHz. We experimentally characterize the frequency-domain RF amplitude and phase response as well as the temporal response with a Gaussian pulse input. The experimental results show good agreement with theory, confirming the effectiveness of our approach towards high-performance fractional differentiators featuring broad processing bandwidth, high reconfigurability, and potentially reduced sized and cost.