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Chapter 6

Optical Amplifiers
Introduction
Share some similarities with electrical amplifiers
Noise
Pout  GPin
Amplifier
Gain = G
Eout  GEin  n(t )
Pout  GPin

G
weak Input Signal
Power = P Output Signal
Power = G P
External
power supply

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Types of optical amplifier
Rare earth doped
fiber amplifier
Fiber optical amplifier

Fiber Raman amplifier


Optical amplifier

Semiconductor optical amplifier

Er doped fiber amplifier


Rare earth doped
fiber amplifier Er/Yb doped fiber amplifier
Pr doped fiber amplifier
Introduction

Similarities between optical and electrical amplifiers:


– Signal amplification
– Noise added to amplified signal
– Gain and noise can be measured and calculated

Differences between optical and electrical amplifiers:


– Large gain bandwidth
3 THz — 25 THz (optical)
2 GHz — 50 GHz (electrical)
– Noise spans the same bandwidth

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Erbium doped fiber amplifiers

•Gain medium: erbium doped fiber


•External energy: intense optical pump light

Weak signal
Intense signal
Intense pump Erbium
doped fiber
Basic structure of an EDFA
Basic structure of an EDFA
Basic structure of an EDFA
Erbium energy level
Erbium energy level
Erbium energy level

0.814eV1527 nm
Stark splitting
1.27eV

0.841eV

0.775eV1600 nm

1.27 eV 980 nm photon energy


0.841 eV  1477 nm photon energy
Pump band at 980 nm very narrow,  pump wavelength very precise
How Optical Amplifiers work
LASER is a good starting point
LIGHT
AMPLIFICATION by
STIMULATED
EMISSION of
RADIATION
Energy Level diagram
Excited state
(High Energy)
Energy

BANDGAP
Ground state
(Low Energy)
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How Optical Amplifiers work
•First, “Population Inversion” is needed
•“Normal”, Ng = number in ground state
•“Population Inversion”: Ne > Ng

Population Excited state


Ne (High Energy)

Population
Ground state
Ng
(Low Energy)
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How Optical Amplifiers work
• Signal photon enters the amplifier
• It stimulates an atom to decay to ground state,
which emits an identical photon.
• This process repeats… and the signal is amplified
(Gain)
Population Excited
Ne state

Population
Ng Ground state

along the amplifier


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Spontaneous Emission
•Atoms can decay to ground spontaneously
•Photons emitted, random orientation, phase and λ
•“Spontaneous Emission”

Population Excited
Ne state

Population
Ng Ground state

along the amplifier


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Spontaneous Emission and
Guided Modes
• Most of the spontaneously emitted photons are lost
• Only a portion is transmitted: those that become
guided modes of the amplifier’s waveguide structure

Population Excited
Ne state

Population
Ng Ground state

along the amplifier


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Amplified Spontaneous
Emission
• Spontaneously emitted photons can (and will) get
amplified
•“Amplified Spontaneous Emission” (ASE)
• Significant source of Noise
Populatio Excited
n Ne state

Population
Ground
Ng
state
along the amplifier
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How (Noisy) Optical Amplifiers
work
•A signal entering an optical amplifier will…
emerge amplified…
and is accompanied by ASE noise.

Ne Amplified
Signal

+
Signal
Ng ASE
Noise
along the amplifier
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Optical Amplifier
Performance: Gain

Psignal_out
G [dB] = 10 log10 dB
Psignal_in

• Ratio of signal power at amplifier output


to signal power at amplifier input
• Expressed in decibels (dB)

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Optical Amplifier
Performance: Noise
•An optical amplifier will produce ASE noise
P
WASE
P Signal
Signal
 ASE
ASE 
Optical Amplifier

•WASE = ASE noise Power Spectral Density (PSD)

P Signal
•WASE is approximately flat
ASE 

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Optical Amplifier
Performance: Noise
•ASE noise is usually reduced by optical filtering
P P Optical P Signal
Signal Optical Signal
Amplifier Filter
 ASE  

PASE
Average Noise
Power
: PASE = WASE  B0

• B0 is the optical filter bandwidth

• Expression valid for a brickwall filter and flat WASE


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Relationship between Gain
and Noise
•Gain & Noise depend on Population Inversion

Population Inversion or Ne
Spontaneous Emission nsp = >1
Factor Ne - Ng

Population Excited state


Ne (High Energy)

Population
Ground state
Ng
(Low Energy)
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Relationship between Gain
and Noise
•nsp is defined only when Ne > Ng (i.e. inversion)
•Noise  Ne, higher Ne  more spont. emission

•Absorption  Ng, higher Ng  greater absorption

•Gain (G)  Ne - Ng, can only have gain if emission


is greater than absorption
Noise
•An interpretation of nsp: nsp 
Gain
•Low inversion  low gain  noise dominates
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Relationship between Gain
and Noise
•Noise PSD (WASE) depends on nsp
WASE = hfnsp (G – 1)

•High inversion  Ng  0  nsp  Ne / Ne  1


amplifier less noisy as nsp  1

•High inversion also desirable because G  Ne - Ng,


Ng  0  nsp  1  G  maximum value

•For optical amplifiers, high inversion and high gain


is the best.
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Noise Performance Measures
Besides nsp and Noise Power …
commonly used performance measures are:
1. Electrical Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)
2. Noise Figure

•Why not nsp?


Impossible to count number of excited atoms …

•Why not Noise Power ?


Not useful without knowing signal power …
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SNR in Optically Amplified
Systems
Two more important differences
(between optical and electrical amplifiers):
1. SNR meaningful only after the signal has been detected
(converted to electrical)

2. Optical detectors are square law devices


• Mixing (or beating) between various frequency components of
the optical signal
• Detected electrical spectrum contains frequency difference
components!

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SNR in Optically Amplified
Systems
Mixing of various optical spectral components:
Signal power +
average ASE power

P Signal-spontaneous
beat noise

P Signal Spontaneous-
spontaneous beat
ASE
 noise

Bandwidth Bo f
Optical Spectrum Electrical Spectrum

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SNR in Optically Amplified
Systems
Mixing products in the detected photocurrent:

id  Ro| Es + EASE |2 = Ro( |Es|2+ |EASE|2 + 2Re[EsEASE] )


= RoPs+ RoPASE + RoPASE-ASE + RoPs-ASE

 id = is + iASE + isp-sp + is-sp


P
P
Signal id
ASE

Bandwidth Bo Responsivity Ro f
Optical Spectrum Detector Electrical Spectrum
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SNR in Optically Amplified
Systems
The SNR at a receiver with responsivity Ro, and
electrical bandwidth Be :
is2
SNR =
( is-sp2 + isp-sp2 + ishot2 + ith2 ) Be

signal-spontaneous spontaneous- shot noise thermal


beat noise spontaneous beat noise
noise

contribution from contribution from


optical amplifier detector
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Noise Figure

The Noise Figure of a device is defined as follows:

SNR at SNR at
the device the
input output

SNR at the input


Noise Figure, F =
SNR at the output

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Noise Figure of an Optical
Amplifier

SNR at the input of the Optical Amplifier, SNRin


Pin SNRin

SNR at the output of the Optical Amplifier, SNRout


Pin SNRout

Optical Amplifier Optical Bandpass Filter


Gain = G, Noise Figure = F Bandwidth = Bo

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Noise Figure of an Optical
Amplifier
SNRin: Pin SNRin
Receiver,
Responsivity = R0
Electrical Bandwidth = Be

(RoPin)2
SNRin = assuming shot noise
2eRoPinBe limited detector

e
For a “perfect” detector with 100% Quantum Ro=
Efficiency, hf
Pin
SNRin =
2hfBe

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Noise Figure of an Optical
Amplifier
SNRout: Pin SNRout

(RoPout)2
SNRout 
4Ro2Pouthfnsp(G-1)Be + 2eRoPinBe
GPin
= after simplification
4hfnsp(G-1)Be+2hfBe

Noise Figure, F:
SNRin 4hfnsp(G-1)Be+2hfBe 2nsp(G -1) + 1
F = = =
SNRout 2hfBe G G

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Quantum-limited Noise Figure
•Any worthwhile amplifier will have high gain, and
SNRin 2nsp(G -1) + 1
F = =
SNRout G

•For an amplifier with high inversion, nsp  1


2nspG
F = 2  3 dB
G

•3 dB is the quantum limited noise figure

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EDFA architectures

Forward pumping

Counter-pumping

Bi-directional pumping
Applications
•Power amplifier
Amplifier

Transmitter Fiber Receiver

•Line amplifier

•Receiver preamplifier

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Modeling EDFA

a) Fiber is perfect cylinder


b) Er doping: step like function
c) E(r): Gaussian shape
d) Fiber: single-mode for pumps and signals

Ek (r ) Ek   Normalized transverse field for wavelength  k

 r  Er doping density
2 
 r 
Effective doping area: Beff   d  rdr  b 2
0 0
 0 eff

 0 Peak Er doping density


Space-average ground/upper-level carrier density:
2 
1
N1, 2 
Beff  d  n  r rdr
0 0
1, 2

Er doping-field overlap integral


2 
 
k   d  E k ( r ) E k   r rdr
2

0 0

Population density: N1, N2

N1  N 2  N t
Pk  z   k Two basic differential

N2 k h k  equations

Nt
1 

Pk  z   k  g k  for modeling EDFA at
each wavelength
k h k 
dPk N2 N2
   k  gk  Pk  z   2 gk h k  k
dz Nt Nt
   k  lk  Pk  z 

Pk z  : optical power of the beams at the wavelength k and position z.

h k : the photon energy at the wavelength k.


  k   a  k    k  N t effective absorption coefficients

g  k   e  k    k  N t effective emission coefficients

Beff N t Psat   k      k   g   k  
  saturation parameter
 sp h

Beff Erbium doped area in fiber core.

 kthe frequency resolution of ASE noise spectrum.


lk  fiber background loss at the wavelength k.
Output power SNR _ in 1  PASE L 
G NF     1
input power SNR_out G  hvv 
Gain and noise figure
Gain vs pump power or Er fiber length
EDFA gain spectrum
Gain flattening filter
Optical signal to noise ratio (OSNR)

mean signal power


OSNR 
mean noise power in a bandwidth Bo

Bo Optical banddwidth

Pin
OSNR 
2 Nnsp hv  G  1 Bo
Bo=0.1 nm
Optical in-line amplifier
Basic structure of an EDFA
An example
Fiber Raman amplifiers
• SRS
• pump photons give up its energy to create the photons with
reduced energy at a lower frequency

pumps Gain medium

signals


p s
Raman gain coefficient:

Pp  gR 
g  gR I p  gR   Pp
A 
Aeff , p  eff , p 
Raman gain coefficient
Raman gain coefficient (1/Wkm)

+ + - - - -
Raman gain coefficient
Pp  gR 
g g R I p g R   Pp
Aeff , p Aeff , p 

 

13 THz
Fiber Raman amplifier model

i j Freq
Raman gain

Stokes noise

Pump
depletion i
j Freq

Anti-Stokes noise
Type of Fiber Raman amplifier

Discrete fiber Raman amplifiers

Fiber

Forward pump backward

Distributed fiber Raman amplifiers


Transmission fiber
Signal output

Signal input Backward pump


Limitation: Rayleigh scattering

Rayleigh scattering
Double Rayleigh scattering

signal Raman gain amplified signal

- Raman gain: sensitive to polarization

+ Polarization multiplexed pumps


pump signal
Semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOA’s)

• Fabry-Perot (FP) amplifiers (FP lasers biased <threshold)


narrow bandwidth- resonant amplifiers

• Traveling-wave (TW) amplifiers

Top-view

Side-view
• binary compounds
Ternary compounds
InGaSb
Ternary -indirect
InAsSb GaAsSb
Quaternary
In1-xGaxAsyP1-y

InAsP
InGaAs
InPGa
Fraction of elements
different lattice and light
wavelengths
GaAsP
GaAsAl (direct & indirect)
Basic structure (bulky SOA)

p-clad n-clad

Energy
Electric field index
Multi-Quantum well SOA

Energy

Electric field

index
Quantum dot SOA
SOA Package

SOA saturation
Linear
amplifier
SOA gain

Polarization dependent!!! Gain saturation


Pulse propagation

 2 E nc
2 E  0   n2    j  g  N 
c t
2 2 0

E  x , y , z , t   ET  x , y  A  z ,t  exp  j0t  j  z 

 2 ET  2 ET  2

 x
2

 y
2
 n 
2
 n 2

c
0
2
ET  0 Transverse electric field

A 1 A  1
   j  1 g  N  A   A Longitudinal electric field
z vg t 2 2

N I N g  N  2
   A Carrier equation
t eVa  c 0 Acs
  t  z vg N I N g  N  2 A  1
   A   j  1 g  N  A   A
 eVa  c 0 Acs z 2 2

A  z ,   P  z ,  exp  j  z , 

A g  N 
 1  j  A
z 2
P
  g   P
z
g g  g0 gP
  Es Saturation energy
 c Es
 1
  g
z 2
Pulse’s gain after SOA

G0
G   
G0   G0  1 exp  E0   / Es 


E0     P  d
in


Input pulse energy

• Leading edge: full gain


• Falling edge: saturated
Pulse phase after SOA

1 d   Pin  
L
1 1
      g  z ,  dz   ln G   vc   G   1
2 0 2 2 d 4E sat

Ein / E sat 

Red shift

Gaussian pulse
SOA amplification

Red shift

Frequency domain
Time domain