The Role of Fast Carrier Dynamics in SOA Based Devices

Jesper MØRK  Tommy W. BERG  Mads L. NIELSEN  Alexander V. USKOV  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E87-C   No.7   pp.1126-1133
Publication Date: 2004/07/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Section on Ultrafast Photonics)
semiconductor optical amplifier,  optical switching,  carrier dynamics,  quantum dot device,  

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We describe the characteristics of all-optical switching schemes based on semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs), with particular emphasis on the role of the fast carrier dynamics. The SOA response to a single short pulse as well as to a data-modulated pulse train is investigated and the properties of schemes relying on cross-gain as well as cross-phase modulation are discussed. The possible benefits of using SOAs with quantum dot active regions are theoretically analyzed. The bandfilling characteristics and the presence of fast capture processes may allow to reach bitrates in excess of 100 Gb/s even for simple cross-gain modulation schemes.