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Optical fiber communication

Prof S. S. Kurumbanshi
Unit 1
• Basics of fiber Optics

• Introduction
• Composition of optical fibre
• Operation of the fibre optic system
• Advantages and disadvantages
• Analog and digital communication
• Two main types of cables
• Pulse Spreading
• Transmission Loss
• Conclusions

Fibre optics is being used to transmit television, voice, and digital

data signals by light waves over flexible hair like threads of glass and
plastic. It has evolved into a system of great importance and use
since the 1980’s.
The advantages of fibre optics compared to coaxial cable or twisted
pair cable, are endless. Millions of dollars are being spent to put light
wave communication systems into operation, as a result of its
Composition of optical fibre

• Silica based glass or plastic filaments are spun and

packed into bundles of several hundreds or
thousands. Bundles may be put together as rods or
ribbons and sheets.
• These bundles are flexible and can be twisted and
contorted to conduct light and images around
corners Cross section of a bundle

• The thin glass center of the fibre where the light

travels is called the “core”.
• The outer optical material surrounding the core that
reflects the light back into the core is called the
• In order to protect the optical surface from moisture
and damage, it is coated with a layer of buffer
Operation of the fibre optic system

• Light is ejected into the glass core

at the correct angle and
transmitted; it will reflect back
repeatedly with internal
reflections, even when the rod is
curved. Light cannot escape from
a fibre optics cable. A bundle of
rods of fibres is capable of taking
an image projected at one end of
the bundle and reproducing it at
the other end.

Reflected path of light in the glass rod

Operation of the fibre optic system

• In a fibre optic system, there are a few major components to perform the task of communication.
• The Input Modulator is needed; this modulates the incoming signal with a light beam.
• A light emitting device is used; it can be either a light emitting diode (LED) or a semiconductor
laser diode.
• A fibre optic cable is used as a transportation medium.
• A fibre optic system converts an electrical signal to an infrared light signal, and then transmits the
signal onto an optical fibre.
• An Output Modulator is used to separate the signal from the light beam.
• Special connectors must be used to couple the light from the source to the fibre and from the
fibre to the detector.
Advantages and Disadvantages


• Fibre optic cables have a much greater bandwidth than metal cables.

• Fibre optic cable is less susceptible to signal degradation than copper wire.

• Fibre optic cables weigh less than a copper wire cable.

• Data can be transmitted digitally.

• Lower-power transmitters can be used instead of the high-voltage electrical transmitters

used for copper wires.

• Unlike electrical signals in copper wires, light signals from one fibre do not interfere with
those of other fibres in the same cable.

• Because no electricity is passed through optical cable it is non-flammable, and immune to


• Impossible to tap into a fibre optics cable, making it more secure

Advantages and Disadvantages


• Fibre optics are that the cables are expensive to install.

• The termination of a fibre optics cable is complex and requires special tools.

• They are more fragile than coaxial cable.

Analog and Digital Communication

• An analog signal changes continuously, while a digital signal can be at only a

certain number of discrete levels.

• Conventionally, analog is used for audio and video communication.

• Analog technology has been used because our ears detect continuous
fluctuations in sound levels, not just the presence or absence of sound.

• Going through a system where the analog signal can not be successfully
reproduced outputs a distorted signal which is what happens when we get
a distorted voice on the telephone or radio.

• Digital transmission works the best; both analog and digital signals are
found in audio and telephone systems.

• Analog signals are converted to digital before transmission and then back to
analog signals.
Two main types of cables

Step Ind ex Fibre

• This cable has a specific index of refraction for the
core and the cladding. It causes deformations due
to the various paths lengths of the light ray. This is
called modal distortion. It is the cheapest type of
cabling. Within the cladding and the core, the
refractive index is constant.
Graded Index Fibre
• In graded index fibre, rays of light follow sinusoidal
paths. Although the paths are different lengths,
they all reach the end of the fibre at the same
time. Multimode dispersion is eliminated and pulse
spreading is reduced. Graded Index fibre can hold
the same amount of energy as multimode fibre.
The disadvantage is that this takes place at only
one wavelength.
Multi-Mode vs Single-Mode

Multi-Mode Single-
Modes of light Many One
Distance Short Long
Bandwidth Low High
Typical Access Metro,
Application Core
Maximum angle to the axis of a step mode fiber

• A possible path of propagation of skew rays is shown in Fig 2.4. view

A, provides an angled view and view B provides a front view.
• Skew rays propagate without passing through the axis of the fiber.
The acceptance angle for skew rays is larger than the accept angle of

• This condition explains why skew rays outnumber meridional rays.

Skew rays are often used in the calculation of light acceptance in an
optical fiber. The addition of skew rays increases the amount of light
capacity of a fiber. In large NA fibers, the increase may be significant

• The addition of skew rays also increases the amount of loss in a fiber.
• Skew rays tend to propagate in the annular region near the edge of
the fiber core and do not fully utilize the core as a transmission
• A class of skew rays, known as leaky rays, loses energy to the cladding
or the surrounding medium as they travel along the fiber.

• Rays are complimentary to the meridional rays in the sense that if the
light input to the fiber is non-uniform, skew rays will tend to have a
smoothing effect on the distribution of the light as it is transmitted,
giving a more uniform output.

• Light can be propagated down an optical fiber by either reflection or

refraction.Light propogation depends on the modes of propogation
and index profile of the fiber
• In fiber mode technology ,the word mode means simply path.if there is
only one path for light to propogate ,it is called single mode .If there
are more than one path for light to propogate down the length of
fiber,it is called multimode.
Cut of Wavelengh

• Single mode operation only occurs above the cut of wavelength .

•  c=2 a n1 (2 ) 1/2/ V c

• Where V c is the cut off frequency

•  c is the wavelengh above which a perpendicular fiber becomes

single moded.
Pulse Spreading

• Optical fibres that carry data consist of pulses of light energy following each
other. The fibre has a limit as to how many pulses per second can be sent to it
and be expected to emerge intact at the other end. This is known as pulse
spreading which limits the Bandwidth of the fibre.
The pulse sets off down the fibre with a square wave shape. As it travels along
the fibre, it progressively gets wider and the peak intensity decreases.
Transmission Loss

• The transmission loss or attenuation of an optical fibre is perhaps the most

important characteristic of the fibre; this determines if a system is practical. It
controls (1) spacing between repeaters and (2) the type of optical transmitter and
receiver to be used.

• As light waves travel down an optical fibre, they lose part of their energy because
of various imperfections in the fibre. These losses are measured in decibels per
kilometers (dB/km).
Leaky modes

• The boundary between the truly guided modes and the leaky modes is
defined by the cut off condition.
• As  becomes smaller than n 2 K,power leaks out of the core into the
• Leaky modes can carry sufficient amount of optical power in short
Formulas to use in optical fibers

Numerical aperture :
NA=sin θin (max) = √
θin (max) = sin‫־‬¹ √n1² - n2²

Cut-off wavelength for single –mode fiber :

λc = 2 π a n1 √2 Δ / 2.405 where
Δ= n1-n2/n1 and a = core radius
Formulas to use in optical fibers

• Maximum fiber length (km):

z = 1 / 5B Δt where
B = maximum bit rate (Mb/s)
Δt = dispersion (μs/km)
. Maximum data transmission rate for RZ:
fb (bps) = 1 / Δt x L
. Maximum data transmission rate for NRZ:
fb (bps) = 1 / 2 Δt x L where
Δt = pulse spreading constant (ns/km)

• The age of optical communications is a new era. In several ways fibre

optics is a pivotal breakthrough from the electric communication we have
been accustomed to. Instead of electrons moving back and forth over a
regular copper or metallic wire to carry signals, light waves navigate tiny
fibres of glass or plastic to accomplish the same purpose.
• With a bandwidth and information capacity a thousand times greater than
that of copper circuits, fibre optics may soon provide us with all the
communication technology we could want in a lifetime, at a cost efficient
• Any new communication system that does not use fibre optics, or consider
its use, is obsolete even before it has been built. It is apparent that the
average technician may also become superseded if he or she fails to master
fibre optics. After all, the technician will be responsible for repairing and
maintaining fibre optic systems wherever they are used, not the engineer.
Unit I Concludes
Joint Loss:

• For identical fiber ,a joint loss is the addition of the alignment losses
and the reflection loss .The total loss can be derived by estimating
geometry including the reflection effects, the ray transfer from input
fiber to output fiber.Three type of misalignment exist end seperation
,axial displacement and the axial angular tilt.
• In practical cases all three types of misalignment occur simultaniously.
Joint Loss
• Even when the two fiber ends are smooth and perpendicular to the
fiber axis are perfectly aligned ,a small portion of light is reflected
back into the transmiting fiber causing attenuation at the joint.
This phenomenon is known as fresnel reflection.
• Fresnel reflection is associated with the step changes in refractive
index (ie glass error interface).
Joint Loss
• The magnitude of this partial reflection of the light transmitted through
the interface may be estimated using the classical formula for light of
normal incidence and is given by

• r =[ n1-_ n]2/[n1+n] 2
Joint Loss
• Where r is the fraction of light at a single interface .
• n1 is the refractive index of the fiber core.
• n is the refractive index of the media between two joined fiber ends
(for air n=1)
Loss in decibel due to fresnel reflection at a single
interface is given by
Loss fres = - 10 log 10 (1-r)
Joint loss
• Problem:
An optical fiber has a core RI of 1.5.Two length of the fiber with
smooth and perpendicular (to the core axis )end faces are butted
.Assuming that the fiber axis are perfectly aligned .Calculate the
optical loss in decibel at the joint(due to fresnel reflection) when there
is a small air gap between the fiber end faces
Optical fiber splicing
• An optical fiber splice is a permant fiber to fiber joint.
• A splice is required in the fiber manufacturing stage as a means for
incresing the fiber length .
• It is used to make a joint or to repair a broken fiber.
• An ideal fiber end for splicing is one which is flat & perpendicular to
the fiber axis and that has a minor smooth finish.
Fiber fusion splicing
• A fiber splice sutable for silica fiber may be made by using an electric
arc , a plasma torch or oxyhydrogen torch to fuse or weld the fiber
ends together.
• Fiber with prepared ends are first aligned by micropositioners and then
heat is applied ,fusing the ends together.
• Mean losses around of 0.2 db are readily achievable for multimode
graded index fiber with 50 micrometer core.
Fiber fusion splicing
• Mechanical strength of fusion splice can be made to withstand an
average of 1 to 2 % elongation.
• Fusion splice may be readily implemented for both multimode &
single mode fiber.
• It is perticularly suited to fibers with a lower melting points & higher
expansion core gas in a silica outer structure.
Fujikura Fusion Splicers
Fusion Splicers
Fusion Splicing
• Fusion splices are made by thermally bonding together prepared fiber
ends .
• In this method the fiber ends are prealigned and butted together in
order to achieve good continuty of the transmission medium at the
junction point.This is done in either a groved fiber holder or under a
microscope with micromanipulator.
Fusion Splicing
• The butt joint is then heated with an electric arc or a laser and
hence butted together.This technique can produce very low splice loss
less than 0.06 db.
• This technique offers advantages of consisitant ,easily controlled heat
with adaptability for use under field conditions.
• In this technique care must be taken since surface damage due to
handling ,surface defect growth created during heating and residual.
Fusion Splicing
• Stresses induced near the joint as a result of changes in the chemical
composition arises from the material melting can produce a weak
V Grove splicing
• In the V Grove splicing technique ,the prepared fiber ends are first
butted together in a V shaped grove.
• They are then bonded together with an adhesive.
• The V Shaped channel could be either a groved silicon ,plastic
,ceramic or metal substrate.This technique can produce splice of
around 0.1 db.
Elastic tube splicing
• The elastic splice is shown in a unique device that automatically
performs lateral,logitudinal and angular alignment.
• It splices multimode fiber with losses around 0.25 db.
• It requires much less equipment and skills as compared to fusion
Elastic tube splicing
• The splice mechanism is basically a tube made of an elastic
material .
• The central hole diameter is slightly smaller than that of the fiber to be
spliced and is tapered on each end for easy fiber insertion.
• When a fiber is inserted ,it expands the hole diameter .The symmetry
feature allows an accurate an accurate and automatic alignment of
the axes of the two joined fiber.
Elastic tube splicing
• A wide range of fiber diameter can be inserted into the elastic
tube.Thus fiber to be spliced do not have to be equal in diameter.Since
each fiber moves into position independently relative to tube axis.
Optical Connector
The principle requirement optical connector are as follows.
• 1) Low coupling loss: The connector assembly must maintain stringent
alignment to measure low coupling loss.
• 2) Interchangeability:
Connector of the same type must be compatible from one
manufacturer to another
Optical Connector
• 3) Ease of assembly:
A service technician should be readily install the connector in a field
environment ,that is a location other than connector connector
factory.The connector loss should be fairly insensative to the assembly
of the technician.
4) Low environmental sensitivity:
Conditions such as temperature ,dust moisture should have small effect
on connector loss
Optical Connector
5) Low cost and reliable consideration:
The connector must have a presion suitable to the application but its
cost must be a major factor in the system.
6) Ease of connection:
Generally one should be able to simply connect and disconnect by
• Coupler can be defined as devices with three or more fibers
interconnected to provide mutual coupling between them.
• Functionally coupler can be classified as directional ,distributive or
wavelength dependent coupler.
• Coupler can be defined as devices with three or more fibers
interconnected to provide mutual coupling between them.
• Functionally coupler can be classified as directional ,distributive or
wavelength dependent coupler.
Diffusion Coupler:
• The coupling mechanism emplyed in diffusion coupler are evencent
wave coupling and radiation coupling.In evanescent wave coupling
,two or more fibers to be coupled are placed side by side in close
proximity, such that the power of the guided wave in the input fiber is
coupled gradually into the output fiber.
Diffusion Coupler:
• In this case ,the coupling is through the eventual field that extends
deeply in the clading region of single mode fiber.
• When two single mode fibers are placed in parallel
over a finite distance ,the evanscent field from primary fiber builds up
propagation field in the secondary fiber to provide two outputs.
Diffusion Coupler:
• The evanescent field coupling cannot readily be used in multimode
fibers since the coupling is expected to be very weak and mode
• In radiative coupling the power leaks out of the input fiber is made to
radiate towards the output fiber.In this case the bend fibers couples to
each other through the radiated field.
Diffusion Coupler
• Another important example of a coupler designed on the principle of
radiative coupling ia a simple and radiative coupling is a simple and
relatively efficient directional coupler for multimode fibers.
• This device is known as fused buconical taper coupler.
• The coupler is formed by twisting a pair of fibers which are then fused
and elongated .Light entering the coupler along the one fiber core is
radiated out of the core .
Diffusion Coupler
• This power is trapped into in the clading .some of the trapped
radiations then reenters the fiber core mode of each output fiber

• Two types of fiber Coupler:

• Passive Coupler
• Active Coupler
An Active coupler converts the optical signal on the data bus to its
electrical base band converter before any data processing is carried
A passive coupler contains no electronic elements.
Directional Couplers

• The four-port directional coupler, also denoted 2 x 2 coupler, is the

simplest coupler.
• The light arrives for instance at port A and is split between port C
and D.
In the most common case, 50% of the light power will go in C and D.
• There are altogether eight possible ways for the light to travel.
Directional Couplers

Basic passive fiber optic coupler design
An optical combiner

• An optical combiner is a passive device that combines the optical

power carried by two input fibers into a single output fiber.
An optical combiner
An optical splitter
An optical splitter

• An optical splitter is a passive device that splits the optical power

carried by a single input fiber into two output fibers. Figure illustrates
the transfer of optical power in an optical splitter. The input optical
power is normally split evenly between the two output fibers. This
type of optical splitter is known as a Y-coupler.
An optical splitter

• However, an optical splitter may distribute the optical power carried

by input power in an uneven manner. An optical splitter may split most
of the power from the input fiber to one of the output fibers. Only a
small amount of the power is coupled into the secondary output fiber.
This type of optical splitter is known as a T-coupler, or an optical tap.
X coupler
• coupler combines the functions of the optical splitter and combiner.
The X coupler combines and divides the optical power from the two
input fibers between the two output fibers. Another name for the X
coupler is the 2 X 2 coupler.
• Star and tree couplers
multiport couplers
• Multiport couplers that have more than two input or two output ports.
A star coupler is a passive device that distributes optical power from
more than two input ports among several output ports. Figure shows
the multiple input and output ports of a star coupler.
Star & tree coupler

• A tree coupler is a passive device that splits the optical power from
one input fiber to more than two output fibers. A tree coupler may also
be used to combine the optical power from more than two input fibers
into a single output fiber. Figure illustrates each type of tree coupler.
Star and tree couplers distribute the input power uniformly among the
output fibers.
Star coupler.
(1 X M) and (N X 1) tree coupler designs
Fiber optic couplers

• Fiber optic couplers should prevent the transfer of optical power from
one input fiber to another input fiber. Directional couplers are fiber
optic couplers that prevent this transfer of power between input fibers.
Many fiber optic couplers are also symmetrical. A symmetrical
coupler transmits the same amount of power through the coupler
when the input and output fibers are reversed
Fiber optic couplers

• Passive fiber optic coupler fabrication techniques can be complex and

difficult to understand. Some fiber optic coupler fabrication involves
beam splitting using micro lenses or graded-refractive-index (GRIN)
rods and beam splitters or optical mixers. These beamsplitter devices
divide the optical beam into two or more separated beams.
Fiber optic couplers

• Fabrication of fiber optic couplers may also involve twisting, fusing,

and tapering together two or more optical fibers. This type of fiber
optic coupler is a fused biconical taper coupler. Fused biconical taper
couplers use the radiative coupling of light from the input fiber to the
output fibers in the tapered region to accomplish beam splitting.
Figure illustrates the fabrication process of a fused biconical taper
Fabrication of a fused biconical taper coupler
(star coupler).
Basic passive fiber optic coupler design
• Figure illustrates the design of a basic fiber optic coupler. A basic fiber
optic coupler has N input ports and M output ports.
• N and M typically range from 1 to 64. The number of input ports and
output ports vary depending on the intended application for the coupler.
Types of fiber optic couplers include optical splitters.
• fiber optic connector is a damageable device that permits the coupling
of optical power between two optical fibers or two groups of fibers.
Designing a device that allows for repeated fiber coupling without
significant loss of light is difficult. Fiber optic connectors must
maintain fiber alignment and provide repeatable loss measurements
during numerous connections. Fiber optic connectors should be easy to
assemble (in a laboratory or field environment) and should be cost
• They should also be reliable. Fiber optic connections using connectors
should be insensitive to environmental conditions, such as
temperature, dust, and moisture. Fiber optic connector designs attempt
to optimize connector performance by meeting each of these
• It results from the same loss mechanisms described earlier. Coupling
loss results from poor fiber alignment and end preparation (extrinsic
losses), fiber mismatches (intrinsic loss), and Fresnel reflection. The
total amount of insertion loss for fiber optic connectors should remain
below 1 dB. Fiber alignment is the critical parameter in maintaining
the total insertion loss below the required level.
• There is only a small amount of control over coupling loss resulting
from fiber mismatches, because the loss results from inherent fiber
properties. Index matching gels cannot be used to reduce Fresnel
losses, since the index matching gels attract dust and dirt to the
• Optic connectors can also reduce system performance by introducing
modal and reflection noise. The cause of modal noise in fiber optic
connectors is the interfering of the different wavefronts of different
modes within the fiber at the connector interface. Modal noise is
eliminated by using only single mode fiber with laser sources and only
low-coherence sources such as light-emitting diodes with multimode
• Fiber optic connectors can introduce reflection noise by reflecting
light back into the optical source. Reflection noise is reduced by index
matching gels, physical contact polishes, or antireflection coatings.
Generally, reflection noise is only a problem in high data rate single
mode systems using lasers.
• Ferrule connectors use two cylindrical plugs (referred to as
ferrules), an alignment sleeve, and sometimes axial springs to
perform fiber alignment.. Precision holes drilled or molded
through the center of each ferrule allow for fiber insertion and
alignment. Precise fiber alignment depends on the accuracy of the
central hole of each ferrule. When the fiber ends are inserted, an
adhesive (normally an epoxy resin) bonds the fiber inside the
• The fiber-end faces are polished until they are flush with the end
of the ferrule to achieve a low-loss fiber connection. Fiber
alignment occurs when the ferrules are inserted into the alignment
sleeve. The inside diameter of the alignment sleeve aligns the
ferrules, which in turn align the fibers. Ferrule connectors lock
the ferrules in the alignment sleeve using a threaded outer shell or
some other type of coupling mechanism.
• Jointed connectors and expanded-beam connectors are the two basic
types of fiber optic connectors. Fiber optic butt-jointed connectors
align and bring the prepared ends of two fibers into close contact. The
end-faces of some butt-jointed connectors touch, but others do not
depending upon the connector design. Types of butt-jointed connectors
include cylindrical ferrule and biconical connectors.
• Fiber optic expanded-beam connectors use two lenses to first expand
and then refocus the light from the transmitting fiber into the receiving
fiber. Single fiber butt-jointed and expanded beam connectors
normally consist of two plugs and an adapter (coupling device). Figure
shows how to configure each plug and adapter when making the
connection between two optical fibers.
• expanded-beam connector uses two lenses to expand and then refocus
the light from the transmitting fiber into the receiving fiber. Expanded-
beam connectors are normally plug-adapter-plug type connections.
Fiber separation and lateral misalignment are less critical in expanded-
beam coupling than in butt-jointing. The same amount of fiber
separation and lateral misalignment in expanded beam coupling
produces a lower coupling loss than in butt-jointing.
• However, angular misalignment is more critical. The same amount of
angular misalignment in expanded-beam coupling produces a higher
loss than in butt-jointing. Expanded-beam connectors are also much
harder to produce. Present applications for expanded-beam connectors
include multifiber connections, edge connections for printed circuit
boards, and other applications.
Joint Loss:
• For identical fibers , a joint loss is the addition of the alignment loss
and the reflection loss .The total loss can be derived by estimating
geometry including the reflection effects,the ray transfer from the
input fiber to the output fiber.Three types of misalignment exist.
• The optical coupler is suitable for frequencies in the low
megahertz range. The photodiode type shown above can handle only
small currents; however, other types of couplers, combining
phototransistors with the SCR, can be used where more output is
• Optical couplers are replacing transformers in low-voltage and low-
current applications. Sensitive digital circuits can use the coupler to
control large current and voltages with low-voltage logic levels.

• Basically, fiber manufacturers use two methods to fabricate multimode

and single mode glass fibers. One method is vapor phase oxidation,
and the other method is direct-melt process. In vapor phase
oxidation, gaseous metal halide compounds, dopant material, and
oxygen are oxidized (burned) to form a white silica powder (SiO2).
Manufacturers call SiO2 the soot.

• Manufacturers deposit the soot on the surface of a glass substrate

(mandrel) or inside a hollow tube by one of the following three
• Outside Vapor Phase Oxidation (OVPO).
• Inside Vapor Phase Oxidation (IVPO).
• Vapor Phase Axial Deposition (VAD).
Signal Degradation
Attenuation in fibers

Attenuation in fibers is loss due to different sources such as

• Material absorption.
• Scattering
• Mode Coupling
• Leaky modes
• Bending of fiber
• Defective onstruction loss
• Core & Cladding loss
• Transmission loss
• Radiation induced attenuation
Signal Degradation in Fibers
• It is the reduction of light power over the length of the fiber.
• It’s mainly caused by scattering.
• It depends on the transmission frequency.
• It’s measured in dB/km
Signal Degradation in Fibers
Multimode Dispersion
Light rays are transmitted from the source at a variety of angles
and arrive at the receiver at different times
Multimode Dispersion
Chromatic Dispersion (CD)
• Light from lasers consists of a range of wavelengths, each of which
travels at a slightly different speed. This results to light pulse
spreading o Chromatic Dispersion (CD) ver time.
• It’s measured in psec/nm/km.
• The chromatic dispersion effects increase for high rates.
Chromatic Dispersion (CD)
Polarization Mode Dispersion (PMD)
• Single-mode fibers support two orthogonal polarizations of the
transmitted signal. Polarization modes travel with different speeds
resulting in dispersion.

• This phenomenon is evident at bit rates of 10Gbps or more

Polarization Mode Dispersion
Transmission Bands
Band Wavelength (nm)
O 1260 – 1360
E1360 – 1460
S 1460 – 1530
C 1530 – 1565
L1565 – 1625
U 1625 – 1675
• In an optical fiber, there are several significant dispersion effects,
such as material dispersion, profile dispersion, and waveguide
dispersion, that degrade the signal.
• Three types of dispersion, relating to optical fibers, are defined as
Material dispersion:
• In optical fiber communication, the wavelength dependence of the
velocity of propagation (of the optical signal) on the bulk material of
which the fiber is made. Because every optical signal has a finite
spectral width, material dispersion results in spreading of the signal.
• Use of the redundant term "chromatic dispersion" is discouraged.
• In pure silica, the basic material from which the most common
telecommunication grade fibers are made, material dispersion is
minimum at wavelengths in the vicinity of 1.27 m (slightly longer in
practical fibers).
• Profile dispersion: In an Optical fiber, that dispersion attributable
to the variation of refractive index with wavelength. Profile
dispersion is a function of the profile dispersion parameter.
• Waveguide dispersion: Dispersion, of importance only in single-
mode fibers, caused by the dependence of the phase and group
velocities on core radius, NA, and wavelengh.
• For circular waveguides, the dependence is on the ratio, a / , where a
is the core radius and is the wavelength.
• Practical single-mode fibers are designed so that material dispersion
and waveguide dispersion cancel one another at the wavelength of
• There are two different types of dispersion in optical fibers.
• The types are intramodal and intermodal dispersion. Intramodal, or
chromatic, dispersion occurs in all types of fibers. Intermodal, or
modal, dispersion occurs only in multimode fibers. Each type of
dispersion mechanism leads to pulse spreading. As a pulse spreads,
energy is overlapped. This condition is shown in figure .The
spreading of the optical pulse as it travels along the fiber limits the
information capacity of the fiber.
• Pulse spreading
Intramodal Dispersion

• Intramodal, or chromatic, dispersion depends primarily on fiber

materials. There are two types of intramodal dispersion. The first type
is material dispersion. The second type is waveguide dispersion.
• Intramodal dispersion occurs because different colors of light travel
through different materials and different waveguide structures at
different speeds.
Material dispersion
• Material dispersion occurs because the spreading of a light pulse is
dependent on the wavelengths' interaction with the refractive index of
the fiber core. Different wavelengths travel at different speeds in the
fiber material. Different wavelengths of a light pulse that enter a fiber
at one time exit the fiber at different times. Material dispersion is a
function of the source spectral width. The spectral width specifies the
range of wavelengths that can propagate in the fiber. Material
dispersion is less at longer wavelengths.
• Dispersion occurs because the mode propagation constant (β) is a
function of the size of the fiber's core relative to the wavelength of
operation. Waveguide dispersion also occurs because light propagates
differently in the core than in the cladding.
• In multimode fibers, waveguide dispersion and material dispersion are
basically separate properties. Multimode waveguide dispersion is
generally small compared to material dispersion. Waveguide
dispersion is usually neglected.
Waveguide Dispersion
• However, in single mode fibers, material and waveguide dispersion are
• The total dispersion present in single mode fibers may be minimized
by trading material and waveguide properties depending on the
wavelength of operation.
Intermodal Dispersion

• Intermodal or modal dispersion causes the input light pulse to

spread. The input light pulse is made up of a group of modes. As
the modes propagate along the fiber, light energy distributed among
the modes is delayed by different amounts. The pulse spreads because
each mode propagates along the fiber at different speeds. Since modes
travel in different directions, some modes travel longer distances.
Distance traveled by each mode
over the same time span
Modal dispersion
• Modal dispersion is the dominant source of dispersion in multimode
fibers. Modal dispersion does not exist in single mode fibers. Single
mode fibers propagate only the fundamental mode. Therefore,
single mode fibers exhibit the lowest amount of total dispersion.
Single mode fibers also exhibit the highest possible bandwidth.
Modal dispersion
• Modal dispersion occurs because each mode travels a different
distance over the same time span.The modes of a light pulse that
enter the fiber at one time exit the fiber a different times. This
condition causes the light pulse to spread. As the length of the fiber
increases, modal dispersion
Unit 4
• Can you tell a range of wavelength (in nm) of visible light?
The visible wavelength region is between 380 nm and 780 nm.
• Light whose wavelength is shorter than 380nm is called ultraviolet.
• Light whose wavelength is longer than 780 nm is called infrared.

Continuous spectrum
slit prism screen Continuous spectrum

Line spectrum Line absorption spectrum

Line emission spectrum

300 800
4eV 3.5eV 3eV
nm 2.5e 2eV nm 1.5eV
Difference between LED and LD?

• LED is light emitting diode

• LD is laser diode
• Diode is a semiconductor device which has an effect of rectification
• Both LED and LD are semiconductor diode with a forward bias. Both emit
• LED emits light by spontaneous emission mechanism, while LD has an optical
cavity which enables multiplication of photon by stimulated emission
LED and LD
• LD (laser diode) works as LED if the operating current does not exceed
the threshold value.
LED and LD
• LD (laser diode) works as LED if the operating current does not exceed the
threshold value.

Light Intensity
Laser action Laser action
With stimulated With stimulated
emission emission
Spontane ous
ous Threshold current emission
Forward bias current Wavelength
(a) (b)
Components for optical communication

• Light source: LD=laser diode

• pn junction, DH structure, DFB structure
• Transmission line: Optical fiber
• Total reflection, attenuation by Rayleigh scattering and infrared absorption
• Photo detector: PD=photodiode
• Amplifier: EDFA=Erbium-doped fiber amplifier
• Elements: isolator, attenuator, circulator
Optical Light Sources
• Portable LED and laser light sources are designed to be used with
optical power meters to perform end-to-end loss and optical power
measurements on fiber optic cables. These inexpensive battery-
operated units are easy to operate, offering excellent stability for
accurate testing.
Optical Light Sources
• Use the OLS1-2 LED source for continuous wave output when
performing multimode testing. The OLS2-1310 singlemode laser
source provides continuous wave output or 2-kHz output for fiber
identification. Optical power meters must be ordered separately.
LED-Optical Source
• Light emitters are a key element in any fiber optic system. This
component converts the electrical signal into a corresponding light
signal that can be injected into the fiber. The light emitter is an
important element because it is often the most costly element in the
system, and its characteristics often strongly influence the final
performance limits of a given link.
LED-Optical Source
LED-Optical Source
• LEDs are complex semiconductors that convert an electrical current
into light. The conversion process is fairly efficient in that it generates
little heat compared to incandescent lights.
LED-Optical Source

• . LEDs are of interest for fiber optics because of five inherent

1. They are small.
2. They possess high radiance
• (i.e., They emit lots of light in a small area).
3. The emitting area is small, comparable to the dimensions of optical
• 4. They have a very long life, offering high reliability.
5. They can be modulated (turned off and on) at high speeds.
Comparison of characteristics for lasers and LEDs.

Characteristics LEDs Lasers

Output Power Linearly Proportional to
proportional to current above
drive current threshold
Current Drive Current: Threshold
50 to 100 mA Current 5 to 50
Peak mA
Coupled Power Moderate High
Speed Slower Faster
Output Pattern Higher Lower
Comparison of some of the characteristics for lasers and LEDs.

Characteristics LEDs Lasers

Bandwidth Moderate High
Wavelengh 0.66 to 1.65 0.78 to 1.75
Available micrometer micrometer
Spectral Width Wider (40-190 nm Narrower
FWHM) (0.00001 nm to
10 nm FWHM)
Fiber Type Multimode Only SM, MM
Ease of Use Easier Harder
Comparison of characteristics for lasers and LEDs

Characteristics LEDs Lasers

Lifetime Longer Long
cost Low High
LED-Optical Source
• Light-emitting diodes use GaAlAs (gallium aluminum arsenide) for
short-wavelength devices. Long-wavelength devices generally
incorporate InGaAsP (indium gallium arsenide phosphide).
Light Emitter Performance Characteristics

Several key characteristics of LEDs determine their usefulness in a given application.

These are:

Peak Wavelength: This is the wavelength at which the source emits the most power. It
should be matched to the wavelengths that are transmitted with the least attenuation
through optical fiber. The most common peak wavelength are 780, 850, and 1310 nm.
Spectral Width: Ideally, all the light emitted from an LED would be at the peak
wavelength, but in practice the light is emitted in a range of wavelengths centered at the
peak wavelength. This range is called the spectral width of the source.
LED-Optical Source
• Emission Pattern: The pattern of emitted light affects the amount of
light that can be coupled into the optical fiber. The size of the emitting
region should be similar to the diameter of the fiber core.
LED-Optical Source
The best results are usually achieved by coupling as much of a
source’s power into the fiber as possible. The key requirement is that
the output power of the source be strong enough to provide sufficient
power to the detector at the receiving end, considering fiber
attenuation, coupling losses and other system constraints. In general,
LEDs are less powerful than lasers.
LED-Optical Source
Speed: A source should turn on and off fast enough to meet the
bandwidth limits of the system. The speed is given according to a
source’s Rise or fall time, the time required to go from 10% to 90% of
peak power. LEDs have slower rise and fall times than lasers.
LED-Optical Source
• Linearity is another important characteristic for some applications.
Linearity represents the degree to which the optical output is directly
proportional to the electrical current input. Most light sources give
little or no attention to linearity, making them usable only for digital
applications. Analog applications require close attention to linearity.
Nonlinearity in LEDs causes harmonic distortion in the analog signal
that is transmitted over an analog fiber optic link.
LED-Optical Source
• LEDs are generally more reliable than lasers, but both sources will
degrade over time. This degradation can be caused by heat generated
by the source and uneven current densities. In addition, LEDs are
easier to use than lasers.
LED-Optical Source
• LEDs are found in a wide variety of consumer electronics products.
LEDs are used as visible indicators in most electronics equipment, and
laser diodes are most widely used in compact disk (CD) players. The
LEDs used in fiber optics differ from the more common indicator
LEDs in two ways:
LED-Optical Source
• 1. The wavelength is generally in the near infrared (because the optical
loss of fiber is lowest at these wavelengths).
2. The LED emitting area is generally much smaller in order to allow
the highest possible modulation bandwidth and improve the coupling
efficiency with small core optical fibers.
LED-Optical Source
• LEDs and laser diodes are very similar devices. In fact, when
operating below their threshold current, all laser diodes act as LEDs.
Emitter Characteristics

• Figure (2a) shows the behavior of an LED, and Figure (2b) shows the
behavior of a laser diode. The plots show the relative amount of light
output versus electrical drive current. The LED outputs light that is
approximately linear with the drive current. Nearly all LEDs exhibit a
“droop” in the curve as shown in Figure (2b) This nonlinearity in the
LED limits its usefulness in analog applications.
Figure 2 - Emitter Characteristics,
(a) LED (b) Laser
LED-Optical Source
• The droop can be caused by a number of factors in the LED
semiconductor physics but is often largely due to self-heating of the
LED chip. All LEDs drop in efficiency as their operating temperature
increases. Thus, as the LED is driven to higher currents, the LED chip
gets hotter causing a drop in conversion efficiency and the droop
apparent in Figure (2a). LEDs are typically operated at currents to
about 100 mA peak. Only specialized devices operate at higher current
LED Types

• There are two basic types of LED structures: Edge emitters and
Surface emitters
Edge emitters
• Edge emitters are more complex and expensive devices, but offer high
output power levels and high speed performance. The output power is
high because the emitting spot is very small, typically 30-50 µm,
allowing good coupling efficiency to similarly sized optical fibers.
Edge emitters
• Edge emitters also have relatively narrow emission spectra. The full-
width, half-maximum (FWHM) is typically about 7% of the central
wavelength. Another variant of the edge emitter is the superradiant
Superradiant LEDs
• These devices are a cross between a conventional LED and a laser.
They usually have a very high power density and possess some
internal optical gain like a laser, but the optical output is still
incoherent, unlike a laser. Superradiant LEDs have very narrow
emission spectra, typically 1-2% of the central wavelength and offer
power levels rivaling a laser diode. These devices are popular for fiber
optic gyroscope applications.
Superradiant LEDs
• The second type of LED is the surface emitter. Surface emitters have a
comparatively simple structure, are relatively inexpensive, offer low-
to-moderate output power levels, and are capable of low-to-moderate
operating speeds. The total LED chip optical output power is as high
or higher than the edge-emitting LED, but the emitting area is large,
causing poor coupling efficiency to the optical fiber.
Superradiant LEDs
Adding to the coupling efficiency deficit is the fact that surface-emitting
LEDs are almost perfect Lambertian emitters. This means that they
emit light in all directions. Thus very little of the total light goes in the
required direction for injection into an optical fiber.
Digital LED Drive Circuits
• When the drive signal is digital, as illustrated in figure 6, there is no
concern about LED linearity. The LED is either on or off. There are
special problems that need to be addressed when designing an LED
driver. The key concern is driving the LED so that the maximum speed
is achieved
• . Figures 6a, 6b, and 6c show three popular digital LED driver circuits.
The first circuit, shown in Figure 6a, is a simple series driver circuit.
The input voltage is applied to the base of transistor Q1 through
resistor R1. The transistor will either be off or on. When transistor Q1
is off, no current will flow through the LED, and no light will be
• When transistor Q1 is on, the cathode (bottom) of the LED will be
pulled low. Transistor Q1 will pull its collector down to about 0.25
Volts. The current is equal to the voltage across resistor R2 divided by
the resistance of R2. The voltage across R2 is equal to the power
supply voltage less the LED forward voltage drop and the saturation
voltage of the drive transistor.
• The key advantage of the series driver shown in Figure 6a is its low
average power supply current. If one defines the peak LED drive
current as ILEDmax and assumes that the LED duty cycle is 50%,
then the average power supply current is only ILEDmax/2. Further, the
power dissipated is (ILEDmax/2)•VSUPPLY where VSUPPLY is the
power supply voltage. The power dissipated by the individual
components, the LED, transistor and resistor R1, is equal to the
voltage drop across each component multiplied by (ILEDmax/2).
LED Drive Circuits
• LED optical output is approximately proportional to drive current.
Other factors, such as temperature, also affect the optical output.
Figure 4 shows in greater detail the typical behavior of an LED. Two
curves are shown. The top curve represents a 0.1% duty cycle with the
peak current as shown on the horizontal axis. The bottom curve shows
the output with 100% duty cycle. Note the light versus current curve
droops below the linear curve.
Figure 4 - Optical Output vs. Current in a
Analog LED Drive Circuits
Analog LED Drive Circuits
• Circuit (5a ) illustrates the simplest of the three configurations. It uses
a transistor, Q1, and a limited amount of resistors to convert an analog
input voltage into a proportional current flowing through the LED, D1.
Also referred to as a transconductance amplifier, this configuration
converts a voltage into a current. In LEDs, the light output equates
proportionally to the drive current, not the drive voltage .
• While the drive current varies, this circuit illustrates the voltage
dropping across that LED and remaining constant. LEDs exhibit a
peak drive current at about 100 mA, and the voltage drop is typically
1.5 Volts.
- LED Response to Digital Modulation
Incandescent vs. Laser Light

1. Many wavelengths
2. Multidirectional
3. Incoherent
1. Monochromatic
2. Directional
3. Coherent
Common Components of all Lasers
• Active Medium
• The active medium may be solid crystals such as ruby or
Nd:YAG, liquid dyes, gases like CO2 or Helium/Neon, or
semiconductors such as GaAs. Active mediums contain atoms
whose electrons may be excited to a metastable energy level by an
energy source.
• Excitation Mechanism
• Excitation mechanisms pump energy into the active medium by
one or more of three basic methods; optical, electrical or chemical.
High Reflectance Mirror
• A mirror which reflects essentially 100% of the laser light.
• Partially Transmissive Mirror
A mirror which reflects less than 100% of the laser light and
transmits the remainder.
Gas lasers consist of a gas filled tube placed in the laser
cavity. A voltage (the external pump source) is applied
to the tube to excite the atoms in the gas to a
population inversion. The light emitted from this type
of laser is normally continuous wave (CW).
Lasing Action
1. Energy is applied to a medium raising electrons to an unstable
energy level.
2. These atoms spontaneously decay to a relatively long-lived, lower
energy, metastable state.
3. A population inversion is achieved when the majority of atoms have
reached this metastable state.
4. Lasing action occurs when an electron spontaneously returns to its
ground state and produces a photon.
5. If the energy from this photon is of the precise wavelength, it will
stimulate the production of another photon of the same wavelength
and resulting in a cascading effect.
6. The highly reflective mirror and partially reflective mirror continue
the reaction by directing photons back through the medium along
the long axis of the laser.
7.The partially reflective mirror allows the transmission of a small
amount of coherent radiation that we observe as the “beam”.
8. Laser radiation will continue as long as energy is applied to the lasing
Excited State
Spontaneous Energy Emission Spontaneous
Metastable State

Emission of

Ground State
Continuous Outut (CW) Pulsed Output (P)

Energy (Watts)

Time Time
Laser Hazards
Febry Parot resonator Cavity
Fabry-Perot resonant cavity

• In a Fabry-Perot resonator, two mirrors are placed

at a distance L with the respective reflecting
surfaces facing each other (mirrors are white and
blue in the figure, and reflective surfaces are red).
• When monochromatic light (such as light coming from a laser) enters the
resonator through one of the mirrors (in the figure the entrance mirror is
on the left) it is rejected (reflected back) unless the distance L between the
mirrors is exactly a multiple of half the wavelength of the incoming light.
• If this condition occurs the Fabry-Perot is said to be at resonance
and light is accumulated within the cavity formed by the two
mirrors for a time duration which is made longer by increasing
the mirror reflectivity, or, equivalently, a parameter called finesse
of the Fabry-Perot FinesseOptical path lengthR is the mirror
reflectivityF is the finesse of the Fabry-Perot
Optical Path Length
Output Power vs. Diode Current
(Semiconductor Laser)
Lasing Slope Efficiency
• Physical Principles of Photodiodes
• pin, APD
• Photodetectors characteristics
(Quantum efficiency, Responsivity, S/N)
• Noise in Photodetector Circuits
• Photodiode Response Time
• Photodiodes structures
pin Photodetector
• The high electric field present in the depletion region causes photo-
generated carriers to separate and be collected across the reverse –
biased junction. This give rise to a current.
• Flow in an external circuit, known as photocurrent.
Energy-Band diagram for a pin photodiode
Responsivity vs. wavelength
Reach-Through APD structure (RAPD)
showing the electric fields in depletion region and multiplication region.
• APDs internally multiply the primary photocurrent before it enters to
following circuitry.
• In order to carrier multiplication take place, the photogenerated
carriers must traverse along a high field region
• In this region, photogenerated electrons and holes gain enough
energy to ionize bound electrons in Valance band upon colliding with
them. This multiplication is known as impact ionization.
The newly created carriers in the presence of high electric field result in
more ionization called avalanche effect.
• The multiplication factor (current Igain) M for all carriers generated in
the photodiode is defined asM  M

• M=Im/Ip
• Where Im is the average value of the total multiplied output
current & Ip is the primary photocurrent.
Current gain (M) vs. Voltage for different optical wavelengths
Photodetector Noise & S/N
• Detection of weak optical signal requires that the photodetector and its
following amplification circuitry be optimized for a desired signal-to-
noise ratio.
• It is the noise current which determines the minimum optical power
level that can be detected. This minimum detectable optical power
defines the sensitivity of photodetector
• That is the optical power that generates a photocurrent with the
amplitude equal to that of the total noise current (S/N=1)
• Consider the modulated optical power signal P(t) falls on the
photodetector with the form of:
• P(t)=P0[1+m.S(t)]
• Where s(t) is message electrical signal and m is modulation index.
Therefore the primary photocurrent is (for pin photodiode M=1):
• Therefore the primary photocurrent is (for pin photodiode M=1):
• Iph= nqM.P(t)/hv
Noise Sources in Photodetecors

• The principal noises associated with photodetectors are :

1- Quantum (Shot) noise: arises from statistical nature of the
production and collection of photo-generated electrons upon optical
illumination. It has been shown that the statistics follow a Poisson
2- Dark current noise: is the current that continues to flow through the
bias circuit in the absence of the light. This is the combination of bulk
dark current, which is due to thermally generated e and h in the pn
junction, and the surface dark current, due to surface defects, bias
voltage and surface area.
• In order to calculate the total noise presented in photodetector, we
should sum up the root mean square of each noise current by assuming
that those are uncorrelated.
• Total photodetector noise current
=quantum noise current +bulk dark current noise + surface
current noise
Quantum noise current (lower limit on the sensitivity):

• Quantum noise current

• (lower limit on the sensitivity)
2qIpBM 2F(M)

B=Bandwidth F(M)-Noise Figure

Photodiode response to optical pulse
Typical response time of the
photodiode that is not fully depleted
Various optical responses of photodetectors:
Trade-off between quantum efficiency & response
• To achieve a high quantum efficiency, the depletion layer width must
be larger than (the inverse of the absorption coefficient), so that most
of the light will be absorbed.
At the same time with large width, the capacitance is small and RC
time constant getting smaller, leading to faster response.
but wide width results in larger transit time in the
depletion region. Therefore there is a trade-off
between width and QE. It is shown that the best is:
Structures for InGaAs APDs

• Separate-absorption-and multiplication (SAM) APD

InP substrate
InP buffer layer
INGaAs Absorption layer

InP multiplication layer

Metal contact

• InGaAs APD superlattice structure (The multiplication region is

composed of several layers of InAlGaAs quantum wells separated by
InAlAs barrier layers.
Temperature effect on avalanche gain
Comparison of photodetectors
S signal power from photocurre nt

N photodetec tor noise power  amplifier noise power
Photo detector on Silicon
• Si Photodetector in 770 ~ 850 nm Range
Photo detector
• Essentially - p-n diode under the reverse bias
• Operate in the photoconductive mode
• Main usage - for the conversion of the optical signal
• works at 0.3 - 1.1 µm (peak responsivity at 0.8 µm).
Photo detector Principle
Photo detector
Photo detector Principle
• Electric field is developed across PN jun ction diode.PN junction
sweeps the mobile carriers (hole & electrons) to their respective
majority sides .A deplection region is created on either side of
junction .Field accelerates minority carriers from both sides to the
opposite side of the junction forming the reverse current diode.
Photo detector Principle
• A photon incident in or near the depletion region of the device which
has an energy grater than or equal to the band gap energy Eg of the
fabricating material (hf> Eg) will excite an electron from the valance
band to conduction band .This process leaves an empty hole and is
known as photogeneration of an electron hole pair.
Photo detector
• Carrier pairs so generated near the junction are seperated and drift
under the influence of electric field to produce the displacement by a
current in the external circuit in excess of any reverse leakage current.
• Thus depletion region must be sufficiently thick to allow a large
fraction of the incident light to be absorbed in order to achieve
maximum carrier photogeneration.
Photo detector
• Quantum efficiency:
• The Quantum efficiency is defined as the fraction of the incident
photon absorbed by a photoelectron and generates electron which
are collected at the detector terminal
• n= r e / r p
Responsivity Derivation
• The expression for responsivity of a photodetector is

• R = I p /Po (A/W)
Where Ip is the output photocurrent in Ampers.
Po is the incident optical power.
• Incident photon rate r p in terms of incident optical power and the
photon energy

• Rp=P o / hf …………….(2)
• Electron rate rp in terms of incident optical power and photon energy

• Rp=Po / hf ………………..(3)
• The electron rate is given by
• Ip=Re.e
• = nPo/ hf.e…………………(4)
• Where e is the electron charge.
Responsivity can be written as

R= ne/ hf
• Frequency f of the incident photon is related to their wavelengh

• F= c /  final expression of responsivity

• R= ne  /hc
• Ex (1) A photodiode has a quantum efficiency of 65% .When a photon
of energy 1.5* 10 -19 are incident on it.
• 1) At what wavelength is the photodiode operating?
• 2) Calculate the incident optical power required to obtain a
photocurrent of 2.5 microampere ?
• 2) When 6*10 3 photons each with a Wavelengh of 0.85 micrometer
are incident on a photodiode >on an average 1.2*10 11 electrons are
collected at the terminals of the device .Determine the quantum
efficiency of the photodiode at 0.85 micrometer ?
• The basic structure of PIN Photodiode is shown in figure.The main
feature of this photodiode is that it consist of a thick lightly doped
intrinsic layer sand witched between thin P layer & N layer.
• PiN means positive intrinsic negative .There are two major types of
Front elliminated & rear elliminated
Front illuminated photodiode
Metal Eg
• contact
P coating

5 micrometer

• In rear eliminated photodiode light enters the active region through a
heavily doped n+ layer .This layer is transparent to the incident light
because its energy gap is larger than the energy of the incident photons
.All these processes are similar to those that takes place in front
elliminated photodiode.
• The major feature of PIN photodiode is that the intrinsic layer is its
depletion layer where absorption of photon takes place.
• Silicon Photodiode Series
• Photodiodes are semiconductor light sensors that generate a current
or voltage when P-N junction in the semiconductor is illuminated by
light. These devices feature excellent linearity with respect to incident
light, have low internal noise, wide spectral response, are
mechanically rugged, compact and lightweight with long life.
• Photodiodes can be classified by function and construction as follows
• Silicon Photodiode :Featuring high sensitivity and low dark current,
these photodiodes are specifically designed for precision photometry
in a wide range of fields.
• Pin Photodiode: Deliver a wide bandwidth with a low bias, making
them ideal for high-speed photometry as well as optical
• APD:The silicon avalanche photodiode (Si APD) has an internal gain
mechanism, fast time response, and high sensitivity in the UV to near
infrared region
Optical Receiver
• Optical Receiver:
Photodiode Preamplier Post Amplifier

Decision Filter
Optical Receiver
• The optical receiver is treated as optical to electrical converter .The
receiver is designed with the aim to achieve maximum sensitivity for a
given bit error rate.
Unit 6
Transmission Link

• A point-to-point fiber optic data link consists of an optical transmitter,

optical fiber, and an optical receiver. In addition, any splices or
connectors used to join individual optical fiber sections to each other
and to the transmitter and the receiver are included.

• A common fiber optic application is the full duplex link. This link consists of two
simple point-to-point links. The links transmit in opposite directions between the
equipments. This application may be configured using only one fiber
• addition, any splices or connectors used to join individual optical fiber
sections to each other and to the transmitter and the receiver are
included. Figure 8-1 provides a schematic diagram of a point-to-point
fiber optic data link.

• All fiber optic systems are simply sets of point-to-point fiber optic
• The term topology, as used here, refers to the configuration of various
equipments and the fiber optic components interconnecting them. This
equipment may be computers, workstations, consoles, or other
equipments. Point-to-point links are connected to produce systems
with linear bus, ring, star, or tree topologies. Point-to-point fiber optic
links are the basic building block of all fiber optic systems

A linear bus topology consists of a single transmission line that is

shared by a number of equipments

Optical taps (optical splitters) are used by each equipment to connect

to each line. For each line, the optical tap couples signals from the line
to the equipment receiver and from the equipment transmitter onto the
A ring topology
• A ring topology consists of equipments attached to one another in a
closed loop or ring
• The connection between each equipment is a simple point-to-point
link. In some systems each equipment may have an associated optical
A ring topology
• In normal operation, the switch routes signals from the fiber connected
to the previous equipment to the receiver. It also routes signals from
the transmitter to the fiber connected to the next equipment.
Optical fibers vs. Transmission lines
• Dispersion limits the bandwidth of the fiber because the spreading
optical pulse limits the rate that pulses can follow one another on the
fiber and still be distinguishable at the receiver.
Optical fibers vs. Transmission lines
• Because the effect of dispersion increases with the length of the fiber,
a fiber transmission system is often characterized by its bandwidth-
distance product, often expressed in units of MHz ×km. This value is a
product of bandwidth and distance because there is a trade off
between the bandwidth of the signal and the distance it can be
Optical fibers vs. Transmission lines
• For example, a common multimode fiber with bandwidth-distance
product of 500 MHz×km could carry a 500 MHz signal for 1 km or a
1000 MHz signal for 0.5 km.
Optical fibers vs. Transmission lines
• In single-mode fiber systems, both the fiber characteristics and the
spectral width of the transmitter contribute to determining the
bandwidth-distance product of the system. Typical single-mode
systems can sustain transmission distances of 80 to 140 km (50 to 87
miles) between regenerations of the signal
Optical fibers vs. Transmission lines
• By using an extremely narrow-spectrum laser source, data rates of up
to 40 gigabits per second are achieved in real-world applications.
• UsingWDM, the bandwidth carried by a single fiber can be increased
into the range of terabits per second. This is accomplished by
transmitting many wavelengths at once on the fiber. Wavelength
division multiplexers and demultiplexers are used to combine and split
up the wavelengths at each end of the link. In coarse WDM (CWDM)
only a few wavelengths are used. One use of CWDM is to allow
bidirectinal communications over one fiber.

• In bypass operation, the switch routes signals from the

fiber connected to the previous equipment to the fiber
connected to the next equipment. In each case, the
connection between adjacent equipments on the ring is a
simple point-to-point link through fiber, connectors, and

The material inhomogenity and more perticularly the

difference in thermal expansion coefficient of the core and
cladding material can give rise to local birefrigennce within
the fiber.The effect of birefrigence is to cause polarization
fluctuation and in the case of the single mode
fiber,bandwidth narrowing due to different group velocities
of the modes associated with the two polarisation

• The deliberate introduction of Birefrigence in a single mode fiber can

again be used to define the polarization of transmission within such
Wavelength-division multiplexing
• In telecommunication, wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) is
a technology which multiplexes several optical carrier signals on a
single optical fiber by using different wavelengh(colours) of laser
light to carry different signals.
• Time division multiplexing is not the only way that system can exploit
the full potential of the enormous bandwidth of optical fiber
links.Another technique which can be used in conjuction with TDM is
wavelenth division multiplexing
Wavelength-division multiplexing
• Wavelengh is the reciprocal of frequency ,so WDM is really another
name for FDM.
• Optical community charactersies signals by their wavelength rather
than frequency so WDM is really another name for FDM.
• In WDM,one signal modulates a laser diode which is designed to
operate at specific wavelengh output,while another serial data signal
modulates a laser diode that operates at nearby another wavelength &
so on.
Wavelength-division multiplexing
• The individual modulated signals are then combined within a special
optical device is called interleave which is the optical equivalent of of
a summing or multiplexing circuit.
• The resulting modulated signal is launched into the fiber which now
will carry multiple bit stream in parallel.
Wavelength-division multiplexing
• At the receiving end ,optical filters –special crystals tuned to specific
optical wavelengths just like pass band filter for electrical signals
separates the numerous WDM signals and then demultiplex them
• Each demultiplex signal then goes to its own path ,where it can be
carried by another optical fiber or converted to an electrical signal and
then decoded.
Wavelength-division multiplexing
• One attractive aspects of WDM is that it is not necessary to multiplex
or demux all the optical signal's at the same end location such that
fiber acts as entirely point to point link.
• It is possible to built special interleave that multiplexes in just a few
designed signal ,or that filters out just a few specific ones.
Wavelength-division multiplexing
• These specific components are called as add drop components .Using
this system ,a single fiber can pick up and drop off some of its trafic at
specific locations as it wind its way through a city or crowded area.
• ITU standards for WDM is 1550 nm optical window range are
centered around 193.1 T Hz reference frequency with 100 GHz
Wavelength-division multiplexing
• This allows for a multiplication in capacity, in addition to
making it possible to perform bidirectional communications
over one strand of fiber.
Wavelengths Division Multiplexing

Data Sources 1 Laser Diode1

PIN Diode
source 2
Laser Diode 2 Mux Demux PIN Diode


PIN Diode

• Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) usually involves

transmitting and receiving more than eight "windows" of light.
Sixteen, 40, and 80 windowed systems are common. Mathematically,
111 windows are possible over a single pair of optical fibers at the
wavelengths used today.

• The range of long-range systems is extended by the use of repeaters

and optical amplifiers. A repeater is essentially a back-to-back receiver
and transmitter, which regenerates the optical signal, eliminating or
reducing the degradations resulting from transmission through the
fiber. An optical amplifier is typically made by doping a length of fiber
with the rare-earth mineral erbiuym, and pumping it with light from a
laser with a shorter wavelength than the communications signal
(typically 980 nm). Because of their greater reliability, amplifiers have
largely replaced repeaters in new installations.
Optical Fiber Multiplexer