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Measurements of mode partition noise of laser diodes

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2 Author(s)
Ogawa, K. ; Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, NJ, USA ; Vodhanel, R.S.

Mode partition noise may become the dominant performance limitation for single-mode fiber systems. We define the mode partition coefficient k for laser diodes which can be used as a universal index, like threshold current and spectral width, to characterize laser diodes. The k value varies between 1 and 0, and for larger k , the mode partition noise will be higher. We also demonstrate two simple techniques for measuring k : the low-pass filter method and the sampling method. We discuss the k values measured under different operating conditions (pulse width, dc bias) for several types of laser diodes, k values are around 0.4-0.6 with short pulse width (1.5-5ns), and decreases to 0.14 pulse width of 50 ns. The largest k values were obtained for a laser exhibiting strong relaxation oscillation. For that laser, k did not depend on the pulse width. The k value is an important factor for system and fiber design as well as laser diode design.

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Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 7 )