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In-phase/quadrature-phase (IQ) imbalance can result in severe performance degradation in optical direct-detection orthogonal-frequency-division-multiplexing (DD-OFDM) systems. We build two optical back-to-back DD-OFDM systems, which implement double-sideband (DSB) and single-sideband (SSB) modulation, respectively. The tolerance to IQ imbalance of these two systems is analyzed and compared using error vector magnitude (EVM) and symbol error rate (SER). We find that, in the back-to-back case, the DSB system has stronger robustness to IQ imbalance than the SSB System. We further build two optical DD-OFDM systems each with 40-km transmission, which respectively implement DSB and SSB transmission. Similarly, we analyze and compare the tolerance to IQ imbalance of these two systems in terms of EVM and SER. We find that, however, in the case of 40-km transmission, the SSB system has stronger robustness to IQ imbalance than the DSB system. As a result, we conclude that, in the case of transmission, SSB modulation can enhance the tolerance to IQ imbalance of DD-OFDM systems.