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Ultrafast optical signal processing using semiconductor laser amplifiers

: Schnabel, R.; Ludwig, R.; Pieper, W.; Diez, S.; Weber, H.G.


Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A 354 (1996), No.1708, pp.733-744
ISSN: 0080-4614
ISSN: 0962-8428
ISSN: 1364-503X
Journal Article
Fraunhofer HHI ()
high-speed optical techniques; multiplexing; multiwave mixing; optical communication equipment; optical frequency conversion; optical phase conjugation; optical switches; ultrafast optical signal processing; semiconductor laser amplifiers; data transmission; ultrafast optical signal transmission; functional devices; optical switching; optical signal processing; semiconductor laser amplifier; femtosecond range; intraband dynamics; subpicosecond time constants; four-wave mixing; demultiplexers; wavelength converters; phase conjugators; 50 THz; 100 Gbit/s

Optical fibres exhibit a bandwidth of about 50 THz, which enables data transmission in excess of 100 Gbit s-1. This potential for ultrafast optical signal transmission stimulates the research on appropriate functional devices for optical switching and optical signal processing in general. A promising device is the semiconductor laser amplifier (SLA). It enables optical signal processing in the femtosecond range when it is operated under conditions where intraband dynamics with subpicosecond time constants are dominating. A suitable experimental technique for operating the SLA under these conditions is four-wave mixing. Based on this technique, various applications for optical signal processing have been investigated, such as optical switches, demultiplexers, wavelength converters and phase conjugators. In this article we describe these experiments and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of optical signal processing using SLAs.