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Investigation of in-situ parameter control in novel semiconductor optical amplifiers

Dublin City University. School of Electronic Engineering
Publication Date
  • Optical Communication
  • Telecommunication
  • Electronics
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Fibre Optic Networks
  • Bandwith Increase
  • Communication
  • Economics
  • Physics


Fibre optic networks form the backbone of modern communications systems. As demand for ever increasing bandwidth continues to grow, technologies that enable the expansion of optical networks will be the key to future development. The semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) is a technology that may be crucial in future optical networks, as a low cost in-line amplifier or as a functional element. As fibre networks extend closer to the end user, economical ways of improving the reach of these networks are important. SOAs are small, relatively inexpensive and can be readily integrated in photonic circuits. Problems persist with the development of SOAs, however, in the form of a relatively high noise figure and low saturation output power, which limits their use in many circumstances. The aim of this thesis is to outline a concept for control of these parameters such that the SOA can achieve the performance required. The concept relies on the control of the carrier density distribution in the SOA. The basic characteristics of the SOA and how they are affected by changes in the carrier density are studied. The performance of the SOA in linear and high power transmission of CW and pulsed signals is determined. Finally, the wavelength conversion characteristics of the SOA are outlined. The role of the carrier density control in shaping all of these characteristics will be explained.

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