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Wavelength monitoring with semiconductor laser amplifiers

Hurtado, A. and González-Marcos, Ana and Martín-Pereda, Jose A. (2004) Wavelength monitoring with semiconductor laser amplifiers. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 5502. pp. 508-511. ISSN 0277-786X

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Abstract

The semiconductor laser diodes that are typically used in applications of optical communications, when working as amplifiers, present under certain conditions optical Instability, which is characterized by abruptly switching between two different output states and an associated hysteresis cycle. This bistable behavior is strongly dependent on the frequency detuning between the frequency of the external* optical signal that is injected into the semiconductor laser amplifier and its own emission frequency. This means that small changes in the wavelength of an optical signal applied to a laser amplifier causes relevant changes in the characteristics of its transfer function in terms of the power requirements to achieve bistability and the width of the hysteresis. This strong dependence in the working characteristics of semiconductor laser amplifiers on frequency detuning suggest the use of this kind of devices in optical sensing applications for optical communications, such as the detection of shifts in the emission wavelength of a laser, or detect possible interference between adjacent channels in DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) optical communication networks.