Abstract

In this paper, we have experimentally investigated the optimized bias current of semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) to achieve high-speed input pulse train amplification with high gain and low distortion. Variations of the amplified output pulse duration with the amplifier bias currents have been analyzed and, compared to the input pulse duration, the amplified output pulse duration is broadened. As the SOA bias current decreases from the high level (larger than the saturated bias current) to the low level, the broadened pulse duration of the amplified output pulse initially decreases slowly and then rapidly. Based on the analysis, an optimized bias current of SOA for high-speed pulse train amplification is introduced. The relation between the SOA optimized bias current and the parameters of the input pulse train (pulse duration, power, and repetition rate) are experimentally studied. It is found that the larger the input pulse duration, the lower the input pulse power or a higher repetition rate can lead to a larger SOA optimized bias current, which corresponds to a larger optimized SOA gain. The effects of assist light injection and different amplifier temperatures on the SOA optimized bias current are studied and it is found that assist light injection can effectively increase the SOA optimized bias current while SOA has a lower optimized bias current at the temperature 20°C than that at other temperatures.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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