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Sampling pulses with semiconductor optical amplifiers

: Jiang, L.A.; Ippen, E.P.; Feiste, U.; Diez, S.; Hilliger, E.; Schmidt, C.; Weber, H.G.


IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics 37 (2001), No.1, pp.118-126
ISSN: 0018-9197
Journal Article
Fraunhofer HHI ()

We demonstrate three techniques to measure the instantaneous frequency and intensity of optical pulses using semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs). Four-wave mixing, gain-saturation, and interferometric switching through a nonlinear optical loop mirror are three mechanisms by which sampling is done. We have experimentally measured the intensity and chirp profiles of pulses with energies as low as 10 fJ, Since the nonlinearity in the SOA is relatively slow these measurement techniques are most appropriate for picosecond pulses often found in telecommunication applications. The temporal resolution of these methods are limited by timing jitter, which was approximate to0.5 ps for the mode-locked laser diodes we used in our experiments, and by the width of the snitching window.