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Dynamic gain equalization filters (DGEFs) are important for high-performance wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) communications. One of the first demonstrated DGEF used a micromechanical etalon filter array illuminated with free-space spectral demultiplexing optics. Here, we present subsequent research on etalon-based dynamic spectral filters, including vertical device structures which linearize and reduce the drive voltage from 70 to 40 V, and spatially-segmented etalons which allow channelized spectral equalization and further reduce drive voltage. We describe a prototype using a simplified cylindrical optomechanical package with a 104-nm broadband spectral response, 7.5-dB insertion loss and less than 16-V operation voltage. Finally, we show the use of a 42-nm bandwidth DGEF prototype with feedback stabilization to more than double the number of channels and operating bandwidth of a conventional Erbium-doped fiber amplifier while maintaining < 1-dB power uniformity.
Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of (Volume:10 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: May-June 2004