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Dependence of cross-phase modulation on channel number in fiber WDM systems

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3 Author(s)
Marcuse, D. ; Crawford Hill Lab., AT&T Bell Labs., Holmdel, NJ, USA ; Chraplyvy, A.R. ; Tkach, R.W.

The phase term appearing in the expression for cross-phase modulation due to the optical Kerr effect depends on the sum of the powers carried by each wavelength channel. For this reason, one might expect that the amount of cross-phase modulation would increase with increasing channel number, causing increased interference among channels and hence limiting the total number of channels that a WDM system can support. However, computer simulations of multichannel systems have shown no change in signal distortion as the number of wavelength channels is increased from four to eight. In a simulated three-channel system, the signal distortion of the central channel approaches that of a single-channel system as the wavelength separation is increased to approximately 2 nm. Thus, even a moderate amount of dispersion tends to cancel out the influence of cross-phase modulation, so that beyond a certain wavelength spacing, additional channels do not interfere with the channel under consideration. From these observations, we conclude that cross-phase modulation does not limit the number of wavelength channels that a single optical fiber can support. However, self- and cross-phase modulation are not the only nonlinear effects influencing fiber lightwave systems. Stimulated Raman scattering tends to transfer optical power from short-wavelength channels to channels operating at longer wavelength, degrading their signal-to-noise ratio. The efficiency of this process increases with increasing wavelength spacing. Clearly, a compromise needs to be reached between the conflicting requirements imposed by the optical Kerr effect and by stimulated Raman scattering

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Lightwave Technology, Journal of  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 5 )