Abstract

Under an optical nonreturn-to-zero (NRZ) data injection at 10 Gbit/s, the 10-GHz mode-locking and pulsed return-to-zero (RZ) clock extraction from a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) based fiber ring is investigated in this paper. The diagnoses on gain and intracavity-power-controlled anomalous blueshifted spectrum and subpicosecond timing jitter are demonstrated. By increasing the injecting power of the optical NRZ data from ${-}3$ to 8 dBm into the SOA bias at different currents, the mode locking is completed with a dc level greatly decreasing from 480 to 50 $\mu$W (only 1.5% of the mode-locked pulse power at 3mW), corresponding to a pulse/dc amplitude contrast ratio up to 18 dB. Increasing the SOA bias current up to 350 mA significantly suppresses the timing jitter from 1.8 ps to 345 fs, and the extracted RZ clock pulse is shortened from 55 to 27 ps. The pulsewidth of the amplified SOAFL is compressed from 11 ps to 836 fs after dispersion compensation. At constant data injection level, the increasing SOA bias or gain oppositely redshifts the mode-locked SOA fiber ring laser (SOAFL) spectrum by 5 nm. The amplifier spontaneous emission of SOA at short wavelength region (${\sim} {\hbox {1520}}$nm) is eliminated with increasing NRZ data power, whereas the mode-locking gain peak arises and blueshifts from 1558 to 1552 nm due to the band-filling effect. Such a blueshift in mode-locking spectrum becomes more significant in SOA at lower bias (or gain) condition. A theoretical model interprets the correlation between the nonlinear gain suppression-induced variation of electron–hole plasma in SOA and the blueshifted mode-locking SOAFL spectrum, which is occurred when the gain saturation condition for the SOA becomes more pronounced.

© 2010 IEEE

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