Appl Opt. 2021 Mar 1;60(7):1930-1936. doi: 10.1364/AO.417003.
The optoelectronic oscillator (OEO) generates low-phase noise and high-frequency microwave signals thanks to a high Q-factor cavity with long and low-loss fiber delay. Traditionally, for the desired mode selection from the ultradense cavity modes, a narrowband electrical filter is needed, whose frequency tuning is very limited. On the other hand, for a tunable OEO offered by a microwave photonic filter (MPF), a paradox existed between the large number of cavity modes and the wide MPF bandwidth. Here, we achieve a tunable OEO using the mode-selection mechanism of parity-time symmetry, which overcomes the paradox. A high Q-factor silicon nitride microdisk resonator (Si3N4 MDR) is introduced to achieve frequency filtering and tuning. Moreover, the experimental results reveal that the tunable OEO generates a signal range from 3 GHz to 20 GHz with a phase noise about -120dBc/Hz at a 10 kHz offset frequency.