Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Optical amplifier

Optical amplifier

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Optical amplifier'
Start a new discussion about 'Optical amplifier'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
An optical amplifier is a device that amplifies an optical signal directly, without the need to first convert it to an electrical signal. An optical amplifier may be thought of as a laser
Laser
A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of photons. The term "laser" originated as an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation...

 without an optical cavity
Optical cavity
An optical cavity or optical resonator is an arrangement of mirrors that forms a standing wave cavity resonator for light waves. Optical cavities are a major component of lasers, surrounding the gain medium and providing feedback of the laser light. They are also used in optical parametric...

, or one in which feedback
Feedback
Feedback describes the situation when output from an event or phenomenon in the past will influence an occurrence or occurrences of the same Feedback describes the situation when output from (or information about the result of) an event or phenomenon in the past will influence an occurrence or...

 from the cavity is suppressed. Optical amplifiers are important in optical communication
Optical communication
Optical communication is any form of telecommunication that uses light as the transmission medium.An optical communication system consists of a transmitter, which encodes a message into an optical signal, a channel, which carries the signal to its destination, and a receiver, which reproduces the...

 and laser physics
Laser Physics
Laser Physics is an international scientific journal published by Nauka/Interperiodica. It is distributed through the Springer.-Topics covered:The journal specializes in laser physics, but also publishes papers about:...

.

There are several different physical mechanisms that can be used to amplify a light signal, which correspond to the major types of optical amplifiers. In doped fiber amplifiers and bulk lasers, stimulated emission
Stimulated emission
In optics, stimulated emission is the process by which an atomic electron interacting with an electromagnetic wave of a certain frequency may drop to a lower energy level, transferring its energy to that field. A photon created in this manner has the same phase, frequency, polarization, and...

 in the amplifier's gain medium causes amplification of incoming light. In semiconductor optical amplfiers (SOAs), electron
Electron
The electron is a subatomic particle with a negative elementary electric charge. It has no known components or substructure; in other words, it is generally thought to be an elementary particle. An electron has a mass that is approximately 1/1836 that of the proton...

-hole
Electron hole
An electron hole is the conceptual and mathematical opposite of an electron, useful in the study of physics, chemistry, and electrical engineering. The concept describes the lack of an electron at a position where one could exist in an atom or atomic lattice...

 recombination
Carrier generation and recombination
In the solid state physics of semiconductors, carrier generation and recombination are processes by which mobile charge carriers are created and eliminated. Carrier generation and recombination processes are fundamental to the operation of many optoelectronic semiconductor devices, such as...

 occurs. In Raman amplifiers, Raman scattering
Raman scattering
Raman scattering or the Raman effect is the inelastic scattering of a photon. It was discovered by Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman and Kariamanickam Srinivasa Krishnan in liquids, and by Grigory Landsberg and Leonid Mandelstam in crystals....

 of incoming light with phonon
Phonon
In physics, a phonon is a collective excitation in a periodic, elastic arrangement of atoms or molecules in condensed matter, such as solids and some liquids...

s in the lattice of the gain medium produces photon
Photon
In physics, a photon is an elementary particle, the quantum of the electromagnetic interaction and the basic unit of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation. It is also the force carrier for the electromagnetic force...

s coherent with the incoming photons. Parametric amplifiers use parametric amplfication.

Laser amplifiers


Almost any laser active gain medium can be pumped
Laser pumping
Laser pumping is the act of energy transfer from an external source into the gain medium of a laser. The energy is absorbed in the medium, producing excited states in its atoms. When the number of particles in one excited state exceeds the number of particles in the ground state or a less-excited...

 to produce gain
Gain
In electronics, gain is a measure of the ability of a circuit to increase the power or amplitude of a signal from the input to the output. It is usually defined as the mean ratio of the signal output of a system to the signal input of the same system. It may also be defined on a logarithmic scale,...

 for light at the wavelength of a laser made with the same material as its gain medium. Such amplifiers are commonly used to produce high power laser systems. Special types such as regenerative amplifiers and chirped-pulse amplifiers are used to amplify ultrashort pulse
Ultrashort pulse
In optics, an ultrashort pulse of light is an electromagnetic pulse whose time duration is of the order of a femtosecond . Such pulses have a broadband optical spectrum, and can be created by mode-locked oscillators...

s.
Doped fiber amplifiers

Doped fiber amplifiers (DFAs) are optical amplifiers that use a doped
Dopant
A dopant, also called a doping agent, is a trace impurity element that is inserted into a substance in order to alter the electrical properties or the optical properties of the substance. In the case of crystalline substances, the atoms of the dopant very commonly take the place of elements that...

 optical fiber
Optical fiber
An optical fiber is a flexible, transparent fiber made of a pure glass not much wider than a human hair. It functions as a waveguide, or "light pipe", to transmit light between the two ends of the fiber. The field of applied science and engineering concerned with the design and application of...

 as a gain medium to amplify an optical signal. They are related to fiber laser
Fiber laser
A fiber laser or fibre laser is a laser in which the active gain medium is an optical fiber doped with rare-earth elements such as erbium, ytterbium, neodymium, dysprosium, praseodymium, and thulium. They are related to doped fiber amplifiers, which provide light amplification without lasing...

s. The signal to be amplified and a pump laser are multiplexed
Multiplexing
The multiplexed signal is transmitted over a communication channel, which may be a physical transmission medium. The multiplexing divides the capacity of the low-level communication channel into several higher-level logical channels, one for each message signal or data stream to be transferred...

 into the doped fiber, and the signal is amplified through interaction with the doping ions. The most common example is the Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier (EDFA), where the core of a silica fiber is doped with trivalent Erbium
Erbium
Erbium is a chemical element in the lanthanide series, with the symbol Er and atomic number 68. A silvery-white solid metal when artificially isolated, natural erbium is always found in chemical combination with other elements on Earth...

 ions and can be efficiently pumped with a laser at a wavelength of 980 nm
Nanometre
A nanometre is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billionth of a metre. The name combines the SI prefix nano- with the parent unit name metre .The nanometre is often used to express dimensions on the atomic scale: the diameter...

 or 1,480 nm, and exhibits gain in the 1,550 nm region.

Amplification is achieved by stimulated emission of photons from dopant ions in the doped fiber. The pump laser excites ions into a higher energy from where they can decay via stimulated emission of a photon at the signal wavelength back to a lower energy level. The excited ions can also decay spontaneously (spontaneous emission) or even through nonradiative processes involving interactions with phonon
Phonon
In physics, a phonon is a collective excitation in a periodic, elastic arrangement of atoms or molecules in condensed matter, such as solids and some liquids...

s of the glass matrix. These last two decay mechanisms compete with stimulated emission reducing the efficiency of light amplification.

The amplification window of an optical amplifier is the range of optical wavelengths for which the amplifier yields a usable gain. The amplification window is determined by the spectroscopic properties of the dopant ions, the glass structure of the optical fiber, and the wavelength and power of the pump laser.

Although the electronic transitions of an isolated ion are very well defined, broadening of the energy levels occurs when the ions are incorporated into the glass of the optical fiber and thus the amplification window is also broadened. This broadening is both homogeneous
Homogeneity (physics)
In general, homogeneity is defined as the quality or state of being homogeneous . For instance, a uniform electric field would be compatible with homogeneity...

 (all ions exhibit the same broadened spectrum) and inhomogeneous (different ions in different glass locations exhibit different spectra). Homogeneous broadening arises from the interactions with phonon
Phonon
In physics, a phonon is a collective excitation in a periodic, elastic arrangement of atoms or molecules in condensed matter, such as solids and some liquids...

s of the glass, while inhomogeneous broadening is caused by differences in the glass sites where different ions are hosted. Different sites expose ions to different local electric fields, which shifts the energy levels via the Stark effect
Stark effect
The Stark effect is the shifting and splitting of spectral lines of atoms and molecules due to presence of an external static electric field. The amount of splitting and or shifting is called the Stark splitting or Stark shift. In general one distinguishes first- and second-order Stark effects...

. In addition, the Stark effect also removes the degeneracy of energy states having the same total angular momentum (specified by the quantum number J). Thus, for example, the trivalent Erbium ion (Er+3) has a ground state with J = 15/2, and in the presence of an electric field splits into J + 1/2 = 8 sublevels with slightly different energies. The first excited state has J = 13/2 and therefore a Stark manifold with 7 sublevels. Transitions from the J = 13/2 excited state to the J= 15/2 ground state are responsible for the gain at 1.5 µm wavelength. The gain spectrum of the EDFA has several peaks that are smeared by the above broadening mechanisms. The net result is a very broad spectrum (30 nm in silica, typically). The broad gain-bandwidth of fiber amplifiers make them particularly useful in
wavelength-division multiplexed
Wavelength-division multiplexing
In fiber-optic communications, wavelength-division multiplexing is a technology which multiplexes a number of optical carrier signals onto a single optical fiber by using different wavelengths of laser light...

 communications systems as a single amplifier can be utilized to amplify all signals being carried on a fiber and whose wavelengths fall within the gain window.

Basic principle of EDFA


A relatively high-powered beam of light is mixed with the input signal using a wavelength selective coupler. The input signal and the excitation light must be at significantly different wavelengths.
The mixed light is guided into a section of fiber with erbium ions included in the core.
This high-powered light beam excites the erbium ions to their higher-energy state.
When the photons belonging to the signal at a different wavelength from the pump light meet the excited erbium atoms, the erbium atoms give up some of their energy to the signal and return to their lower-energy state.
A significant point is that the erbium gives up its energy in the form of additional photons which are exactly in the same phase and direction as the signal being amplified. So the signal is amplified along its direction of travel only. This is not unusual - when an atom “lases” it always gives up its energy in the same direction and phase as the incoming light. That is just the way lasers work. Thus all of the additional signal power is guided in the same fiber mode as the incoming signal.There is usually an isolator placed at the output to prevent reflections returning from the attached fiber. Such reflections disrupt amplifier operation and in the extreme case can cause the amplifier to become a laser.

Noise


The principal source of noise in DFAs is Amplified Spontaneous Emission
Amplified spontaneous emission
Amplified spontaneous emission or superluminescence is light, produced by spontaneous emission, that has been optically amplified by the process of stimulated emission in a gain medium. It is inherent in the field of random lasers....

 (ASE), which has a spectrum approximately the same as the gain spectrum of the amplifier. Noise figure
Noise figure
Noise figure is a measure of degradation of the signal-to-noise ratio , caused by components in a radio frequency signal chain. The noise figure is defined as the ratio of the output noise power of a device to the portion thereof attributable to thermal noise in the input termination at standard...

 in an ideal DFA is 3 dB, while practical amplifiers can have noise figure as large as 6–8 dB.

As well as decaying via stimulated emission, electrons in the upper energy level can also decay by spontaneous emission, which occurs at random, depending upon the glass structure and inversion level. Photons are emitted spontaneously in all directions, but a proportion of those will be emitted in a direction that falls within the numerical aperture
Numerical aperture
In optics, the numerical aperture of an optical system is a dimensionless number that characterizes the range of angles over which the system can accept or emit light. By incorporating index of refraction in its definition, NA has the property that it is constant for a beam as it goes from one...

 of the fiber and are thus captured and guided by the fiber. Those photons captured may then interact with other dopant ions, and are thus amplified by stimulated emission. The initial spontaneous emission is therefore amplified in the same manner as the signals, hence the term Amplified Spontaneous Emission. ASE is emitted by the amplifier in both the forward and reverse directions, but only the forward ASE is a direct concern to system performance since that noise will co-propagate with the signal to the receiver where it degrades system performance. Counter-propagating ASE can, however, lead to degradation of the amplifier's performance since the ASE can deplete the inversion level and thereby reduce the gain of the amplifier.

Gain saturation


Gain is achieved in a DFA due to population inversion
Population inversion
In physics, specifically statistical mechanics, a population inversion occurs when a system exists in state with more members in an excited state than in lower energy states...

 of the dopant ions. The inversion level of a DFA is set, primarily, by the power of the pump wavelength and the power at the amplified wavelengths. As the signal power increases, or the pump power decreases, the inversion level will reduce and thereby the gain of the amplifier will be reduced. This effect is known as gain saturation – as the signal level increases, the amplifier saturates and cannot produce any more output power, and therefore the gain reduces. Saturation is also commonly known as gain compression.

To achieve optimum noise performance DFAs are operated under a significant amount of gain compression (10 dB typically), since that reduces the rate of spontaneous emission, thereby reducing ASE. Another advantage of operating the DFA in the gain saturation region is that small fluctuations in the input signal power are reduced in the output amplified signal: smaller input signal powers experience larger (less saturated) gain, while larger input powers see less gain.

The leading edge of the pulse is amplified, until the saturation energy of the gain medium is reached. In some condition, the width (FWHM) of the pulse is reduced.

Inhomogeneous broadening effects


Due to the inhomogeneous portion of the linewidth broadening of the dopant ions, the gain spectrum has an inhomogeneous component and gain saturation occurs, to a small extent, in an inhomogeneous manner. This effect is known as Spectral hole burning because a high power signal at one wavelength can 'burn' a hole in the gain for wavelengths close to that signal by saturation of the inhomogeneously broadened ions. Spectral holes vary in width depending on the characteristics of the optical fiber in question and the power of the burning signal, but are typically less than 1 nm at the short wavelength end of the C-band, and a few nm at the long wavelength end of the C-band. The depth of the holes are very small, though, making it difficult to observe in practice.

Polarization effects


Although the DFA is essentially a polarization independent amplifier, a small proportion of the dopant ions interact preferentially with certain polarizations and a small dependence on the polarization of the input signal may occur (typically < 0.5 dB). This is called Polarization Dependent Gain (PDG).
The absorption and emission crossections of the ions can be modeled as ellipsoids with the major axes aligned at random in all directions in different glass sites. The random distribution of the orientation of the ellipsoids in a glass produces a macroscopically isotropic medium, but a strong pump laser induces an anisotropic distribution by selectively exciting those ions that are more aligned with the optical field vector of the pump. Also, those excited ions aligned with the signal field produce more stimulated emission. The change in gain is thus dependent on the alignment of the polarizations of the pump and signal lasers – i.e. whether the two lasers are interacting with the same sub-set of dopant ions or not.
In an ideal doped fiber without birefringence
Birefringence
Birefringence, or double refraction, is the decomposition of a ray of light into two rays when it passes through certain anisotropic materials, such as crystals of calcite or boron nitride. The effect was first described by the Danish scientist Rasmus Bartholin in 1669, who saw it in calcite...

, the PDG would be inconveniently large. Fortunately, in optical fibers small amounts of birefringence are always present and, furthermore, the fast and slow axes vary randomly along the fiber length. A typical DFA has several tens of meters, long enough to already show this randomness of the birefringence axes. These two combined effects (which in transmission fibers give rise to Polarization Mode Dispersion) produce a misalignment of the relative polarizations of the signal and pump lasers along the fiber, thus tending to average out the PDG. The result is that PDG is very difficult to observe in a single amplifier (but is noticeable in links with several cascaded amplifiers).

Erbium-doped fiber amplifiers


The erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) is the most deployed fiber amplifier as its amplification window coincides with the third transmission window of silica-based optical fiber.

Two bands have developed in the third transmission window – the Conventional, or C-band, from approximately 1525 nm – 1565 nm, and the Long, or L-band, from approximately 1570 nm to 1610 nm. Both of these bands can be amplified by EDFAs, but it is normal to use two different amplifiers, each optimized for one of the bands.

The principal difference between C- and L-band amplifiers is that a longer length of doped fiber is used in L-band amplifiers. The longer length of fiber allows a lower inversion level to be used, thereby giving at longer wavelengths (due to the band-structure of Erbium in silica) while still providing a useful amount of gain.

EDFAs have two commonly-used pumping bands – 980 nm and 1480 nm. The 980 nm band has a higher absorption cross-section and is generally used where low-noise performance is required. The absorption band is relatively narrow and so wavelength stabilised laser sources are typically needed. The 1480 nm band has a lower, but broader, absorption cross-section and is generally used for higher power amplifiers. A combination of 980 nm and 1480 nm pumping is generally utilised in amplifiers.

The optical fiber amplifier was invented by H. J. Shaw and Michel Digonnet at Stanford University, California, in the early 1980s. The EDFA was first demonstrated several years later by a group including David N. Payne, R. Mears, and L. Reekie, from the University of Southampton
University of Southampton
The University of Southampton is a British public university located in the city of Southampton, England, a member of the Russell Group. The origins of the university can be dated back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862 by Henry Robertson Hartley. In 1902, the Institution developed...

 and a group from AT&T Bell Laboratories, E. Desurvire, P. Becker, and J. Simpson.

Doped fiber amplifiers for other wavelength ranges


Thulium
Thulium
Thulium is a chemical element that has the symbol Tm and atomic number 69. Thulium is the second least abundant of the lanthanides . It is an easily workable metal with a bright silvery-gray luster...

 doped fiber amplifiers have been used in the S-band (1450–1490 nm) and Praseodymium
Praseodymium
Praseodymium is a chemical element that has the symbol Pr and atomic number 59. Praseodymium is a soft, silvery, malleable and ductile metal in the lanthanide group. It is too reactive to be found in native form, and when artificially prepared, it slowly develops a green oxide coating.The element...

 doped amplifiers in the 1300 nm region. However, those regions have not seen any significant commercial use so far and so those amplifiers have not been the subject of as much development as the EDFA. However, Ytterbium
Ytterbium
Ytterbium is a chemical element with the symbol Yb and atomic number 70. A soft silvery metallic element, ytterbium is a rare earth element of the lanthanide series and is found in the minerals gadolinite, monazite, and xenotime. The element is sometimes associated with yttrium or other related...

 doped fiber lasers and amplifiers, operating near 1 micrometre wavelength, have many applications in industrial processing of materials, as these devices can be made with extremely high output power (tens of kilowatts).

Semiconductor optical amplifier


Semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) are amplifiers which use a semiconductor to provide the gain medium. These amplifiers have a similar structure to Fabry–Pérot laser diodes but with anti-reflection design elements at the endfaces. Recent designs include anti-reflective coatings and tilted waveguide
Waveguide
A waveguide is a structure which guides waves, such as electromagnetic waves or sound waves. There are different types of waveguides for each type of wave...

 and window regions which can reduce endface reflection to less than 0.001%. Since this creates a loss of power from the cavity which is greater than the gain it prevents the amplifier from acting as a laser.

Semiconductor optical amplifiers are typically made from group III-V compound semiconductors such as GaAs
Gaas
Gaas is a commune in the Landes department in Aquitaine in south-western France....

/AlGaAs, InP/InGaAs, InP/InGaAsP and InP/InAlGaAs, though any direct band gap semiconductors such as II-VI could conceivably be used. Such amplifiers are often used in telecommunication systems in the form of fiber-pigtailed components, operating at signal wavelengths between 0.85 µm and 1.6 µm and generating gains of up to 30 dB.

The semiconductor optical amplifier is of small size and electrically pumped. It can be potentially less expensive than the EDFA and can be integrated with semiconductor lasers, modulators, etc. However, the performance is still not comparable with the EDFA. The SOA has higher noise, lower gain, moderate polarization dependence and high nonlinearity with fast transient time. The main advantage of SOA is that all four types of nonlinear operations (cross gain modulation, cross phase modulation, wavelength conversion and four wave mixing) can be conducted. Furthermore, SOA can be run with a low power laser.
This originates from the short nanosecond or less upper state lifetime, so that the gain reacts rapidly to changes of pump or signal power and the changes of gain also cause phase changes which can distort the signals.
This nonlinearity presents the most severe problem for optical communication applications. However it provides the possibility for gain in different wavelength regions from the EDFA. "Linear optical amplifiers" using gain-clamping techniques have been developed.

High optical nonlinearity makes semiconductor amplifiers attractive for all optical signal processing like all-optical switching and wavelength conversion. There has been much research on semiconductor optical amplifiers as elements for optical signal processing, wavelength conversion, clock recovery, signal demultiplexing, and pattern recognition.

Vertical-cavity SOA


A recent addition to the SOA family is the vertical-cavity SOA (VCSOA). These devices are similar in structure to, and share many features with, vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSEL
VCSEL
The vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser, or VCSEL , is a type of semiconductor laser diode with laser beam emission perpendicular from the top surface, contrary to conventional edge-emitting semiconductor lasers which emit from surfaces formed by cleaving the individual chip out of a...

s). The major difference when comparing VCSOAs and VCSELs is the reduced mirror reflectivities used in the amplifier cavity. With VCSOAs, reduced feedback is necessary to prevent the device from reaching lasing threshold. Due to the extremely short cavity length, and correspondingly thin gain medium, these devices exhibit very low single-pass gain (typically on the order of a few percent) and also a very large free spectral range
Free spectral range
Free spectral range is the spacing in optical frequency or wavelength between two successive reflected or transmitted optical intensity maxima or minima of an interferometer or diffractive optical element.- Diffraction gratings :...

 (FSR). The small single-pass gain requires relatively high mirror reflectivities to boost the total signal gain. In addition to boosting the total signal gain, the use of the resonant cavity structure results in a very narrow gain bandwidth; coupled with the large FSR of the optical cavity, this effectively limits operation of the VCSOA to single-channel amplification. Thus, VCSOAs can be seen as amplifying filters.

Given their vertical-cavity geometry, VCSOAs are resonant cavity optical amplifiers that operate with the input/output signal entering/exiting normal to the wafer surface. In addition to their small size, the surface normal operation of VCSOAs leads to a number of advantages, including low power consumption, low noise figure, polarization insensitive gain, and the ability to fabricate high fill factor two-dimensional arrays on a single semiconductor chip. These devices are still in the early stages of research, though promising preamplifier results have been demonstrated. Further extensions to VCSOA technology are the demonstration of wavelength tunable devices. These MEMS-tunable vertical-cavity SOAs utilize a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS
Microelectromechanical systems
Microelectromechanical systems is the technology of very small mechanical devices driven by electricity; it merges at the nano-scale into nanoelectromechanical systems and nanotechnology...

) based tuning mechanism for wide and continuous tuning of the peak gain wavelength of the amplifier.
SOAs has a more rapid gain response ,which is in the order of 1 to 100ps.

Raman amplifier



In a Raman amplifier, the signal is intensified by Raman amplification
Raman amplification
Raman amplification is based on the Stimulated Raman Scattering phenomenon, when a lower frequency 'signal' photon induces the inelastic scattering of a higher-frequency 'pump' photon in an optical medium in the nonlinear regime. As a result of this, another 'signal' photon is produced, with the...

. Unlike the EDFA and SOA the amplification effect is achieved by a nonlinear interaction between the signal and a pump laser within an optical fiber. There are two types of Raman amplifier: distributed and lumped. A distributed Raman amplifier is one in which the transmission fiber is utilised as the gain medium by multiplexing a pump wavelength with signal wavelength, while a lumped Raman amplifier utilises a dedicated, shorter length of fiber to provide amplification. In the case of a lumped Raman amplifier highly nonlinear fiber with a small core is utilised to increase the interaction between signal and pump wavelengths and thereby reduce the length of fiber required.

The pump light may be coupled into the transmission fiber in the same direction as the signal (co-directional pumping), in the opposite direction (contra-directional pumping) or both. Contra-directional pumping is more common as the transfer of noise from the pump to the signal is reduced.

The pump power required for Raman amplification is higher than that required by the EDFA, with in excess of 500 mW being required to achieve useful levels of gain in a distributed amplifier. Lumped amplifiers, where the pump light can be safely contained to avoid safety implications of high optical powers, may use over 1W of optical power.

The principal advantage of Raman amplification is its ability to provide distributed amplification within the transmission fiber, thereby increasing the length of spans between amplifier and regeneration
Signal regeneration
In telecommunications, signal regeneration is signal processing that restores a signal, recovering its original characteristics.The signal may be electrical, as in a repeater on a T-carrier line, or optical, as in an OEO optical cross-connect....

 sites. The amplification bandwidth of Raman amplifiers is defined by the pump wavelengths utilised and so amplification can be provided over wider, and different, regions than may be possible with other amplifier types which rely on dopants and device design to define the amplification 'window'.

Note: The text of an earlier version of this article was taken from the public domain Federal Standard 1037C
Federal Standard 1037C
Federal Standard 1037C, titled Telecommunications: Glossary of Telecommunication Terms is a United States Federal Standard, issued by the General Services Administration pursuant to the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended....

.

Optical parametric amplifier


An optical parametric amplifier
Optical parametric amplifier
An optical parametric amplifier, abbreviated OPA, is a laser light source that emits light of variable wavelengths by an optical parametric amplification process.-Optical parametric generation :...

 allows the amplification of a weak Signal-Impulse in a noncentrosymmetric nonlinear medium (e.g. BBO). In contrast to the previously mentioned amplifiers, which are mostly used in telecommunication environments, this type finds its main application in expanding the frequency tunability of ultrafast solid-state laser
Solid-state laser
A solid-state laser is a laser that uses a gain medium that is a solid, rather than a liquid such as in dye lasers or a gas as in gas lasers. Semiconductor-based lasers are also in the solid state, but are generally considered as a separate class from solid-state lasers .-Solid-state...

s (e.g. Ti:sapphire
Ti-sapphire laser
Ti:sapphire lasers are tunable lasers which emit red and near-infrared light in the range from 650 to 1100 nanometers. These lasers are mainly used in scientific research because of their tunability and their ability to generate ultrashort pulses...

). By using a noncollinear interaction geometry Optical Parametric Amplifiers are capable of extreme broad amplification bandwidths.

External links