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The self-phase modulation coefficient /spl gamma/ of 1310 nm multiple-quantum-well (MQW) semiconductor optical amplifiers has been investigated. It is found to vary from 16/spl times/10/sup 4/ W/sup -1/ m/sup -1/ for low driving conditions to 3/spl times/10/sup 4/ W/sup -1/ m/sup -1/ for high-driving conditions. This implies that the amount of self-phase modulation occurring in the amplifier is between 1.5-10/spl times/ more than that occurring in the optical fiber following the amplifier. The additional self-phase modulation caused by the semiconductor optical amplifier may be used to achieve compensation for fiber dispersion in optical communication systems at significantly lower average power levels. The linewidth enhancement factor /spl alpha//sub H/ was found to increase from a value of 2 at low driving conditions, in agreement with results reported for MQW lasers, to a value of 3 at high-driving conditions.
Date of Publication: July 1996