A convenient method for generating short pulses at high repetition rates is based on active modelocking in erbium fiber ring lasers (FRL).1–4 The use of a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) as active medium in the ring is attractive, since it can provide both gain over a broad wavelength range and modulation due to its fast gain and refractive index dynamics. In this work we compare two mode-locked fiber ring lasers. The first is based on cross-gain modulation in a SOA.5 The second is a novel design based on cross-phase modulation in SOAs and is proposed here for the first time. Pulses of 1.8 ps width at 10 GHz repetition rate and 3.6 ps at 40 GHz with more than 30 nm tuning range have been achieved.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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