Abstract

This paper demonstrates a novel optical preamplifier using optical modulation of amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) emitted from a saturated semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA). Requirements on optical alignments and antireflection coating for SOAs can be relaxed and the elimination of an optical filter gives us a large tolerance of an input light wavelength in the proposed optical preamplifier. A small-signal gain of a fabricated preamplifier was over 13.5 dB for an input power of below -20 dBm. An optical gain bandwidth was over 60 nm. We measured the small-signal response of the optically modulated ASE. The 3 dB bandwidths at SOA bias currents of 200, 300, and 400 mA were 5.8, 12.6, and 16.5 GHz, respectively. We also investigated improvements in receiver sensitivities with the proposed optical preamplifier. Our calculation shows a possibility of 10 dB improvement in receiver sensitivities by using the optical preamplifier at 10 Gb/s. The measured receiver sensitivity was -22.7 dBm at 10 Gb/s with the optical preamplifier, which is corresponding to an improvement of 2.5 dB in the receiver sensitivity. Further improvements of the receiver sensitivity can be expected by optimizing the structure of SOAs for saturating ASE.

© 2004 IEEE

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