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Four-wave mixing in semiconductor optical amplifiers for frequency conversion and fast optical switching



IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics 3, (1997), No.5, pp.1131-45
ISSN: 1077-260X
Journal Article
Fraunhofer HHI ()
electro-optical switches; high-speed optical techniques; multiwave mixing; optical fibre networks; optical frequency conversion; optical information processing; optical transmitters; semiconductor lasers; wavelength division multiplexing; four-wave mixing; semiconductor optical amplifiers; frequency conversion; fast optical switching; all-optical communication networks; review; nonlinear optical components; signal processing applications.; general simulation procedures; optimum operating conditions; picosecond optical pulses; optimization criteria; short optical pulses; dynamical soa parameters

Four-wave mixing (FWM) in semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) is an important tool for frequency conversion and fast optical switching in all-optical communication networks. We review the main applications of SOAs as nonlinear optical components. Concentrating on FWM, we define general parameters that are of relevance for signal processing applications. We show, how basic experiments and general simulation procedures can be used to determine optimum operating conditions for the intended applications. Besides a comprehensive investigation of FWM among continuous waves, we present new experimental results on FWM with picosecond optical pulses. A comparison of both reveals a different behavior and demonstrates that new optimization criteria and advanced theoretical models have to be applied for the case of short optical pulses. Moreover, we discuss the possibility to extract the dynamical SOA parameters from our experiments.