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Furukawa Review No.39

Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers with Low Noise Figure

Hideaki Hasegawa , Masaki Funabashi , Kazuomi Maruyama , Kazuaki Kiyota , Noriyuki Yokouchi


In the multilevel phase modulation which is expected to provide the nextgeneration modulation format for optical communications, the insertion losses of the optical transmitters and receivers tend to increase due to their structural complexity with advancement in the modulation level. For this reason, there is a need for a compact singlechannel optical amplifier to compensate for such insertion losses, and a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA), which is smaller than an erbium doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) and capable of being integrated with other optical devices is drawing the attention for such applications. In this study, the design of SOA structures was optimized using simulation techniques, and prototypes were fabricated. The prototyped SOA has an output power of 5dBm or higher and a noise figure (NF) of 4dB or lower at 100mA of current satisfying the requirements for a single-channel optical amplifier, whose characteristics are similar to those of an EDFA, and thus, holds a considerable promise as an optical amplifier of compact size, low power consumption and low noise.

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