RF and microwave photonic signal processing and generation with Kerr optical micro-combs
We demonstrate a radio frequency (RF) phase-encoded signal generator as well as a user-defined RF arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) based on a soliton crystal micro-comb generated by an integrated MRR with a free spectral range of ~49 GHz. Owing to the soliton crystal’s robust and stable generation as well as the high intrinsic efficiency, RF phase-encoded signal generators and AWGs with simple operation and fast reconfiguration are realized. The soliton crystal micro-comb provides 60 wavelengths for RF phase-encoded signal generators, achieving a phase encoding speed of 5.95 Gb/s and a high pulse compression ratio of 29.6. Over 80 wavelengths are employed for the AWGs, achieving tunable square waveforms with a duty cycle ratio ranging from 10% to 90%, sawtooth waveforms with tunable slope ratios from 0.2 to 1, and symmetric concave quadratic chirp waveforms. Our system has great potential to achieve RF and microwave photonic signal generation and processing with low cost and footprint.