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Sampling pulses with semiconductor optical amplifiers

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7 Author(s)
Jiang, Leaf A. ; Res. Lab. of Electron., MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA ; Ippen, E.P. ; Feiste, U. ; Diez, S.
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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 ≈0.5 ps for the mode-locked laser diodes we used in our experiments, and by the width of the switching window

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Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 1 )