Abstract

Experimental demonstration of optical speedup at transparency (OSAT) has been performed on a 1 mm long semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOA). OSAT is a recently proposed scheme that decreases the recovery time of an SOA while maintaining the available gain. It is achieved by externally injecting into the SOA the beam of a separate high power laser at energies around the transparency point. Even though the experimental conditions were not optimal, a beam of 100 mW decreases the recovery time by a third when it is injected in the vicinity of the material transparency point of the device. This acceleration of the device response without detrimental reduction of the gain is found to be effective over a broad wavelength window of about 20 nm around transparency. The injection of the accelerating beam into the gain region is a less efficient solution not only because the gain is then strongly diminished but also because speeding is reduced. This originates from the reduction of the amplified spontaneous emission power in the device, which counterbalances the speeding capabilities of the external laser beam. Another advantage of the OSAT scheme is realized in relatively long SOAs, which suffer from gain overshoot under strong current injection. Simulations show that OSAT decreases the gain overshoot, which should enable us to use OSAT to further speedup the response of long SOAs. (C) 2002 American Institute of Physics.

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