Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers (SOA)

Semiconductor optical amplifiers (booster optical amplifiers) are amplifiers which use a semiconductor to provide the gain medium. They have a similar structure to Fabry–Perot laser diodes but with anti-reflection design elements at the end faces. Recent designs include anti-reflective coatings and tilted waveguide and window regions which can reduce end face 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.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a low coherence interferometry technique that generates backscattering profiles of tissue. OCT has been very successful in ophthalmology in diagnosing eye diseases and it is widely applied in other areas such as dentistry, endoscopy and dermatology. Light sources are a crucial component in the design of OCT systems as they decide the resolution along the optical axis as well the depth penetration of infrared light in tissue. Swept-source lasers (SSL) are the light source of choice for Fourier domain optical coherence tomography (FDOCT). The gain medium in SSL is most often a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA). Their main advantage is fast carrier dynamics which ensures fast buildup of lasing within the cavity. Furthermore, a wider tuning range can be achieved by employing several SOAs in parallel.

Typical parameters of fiber-coupled BOAs (new)

Part numberGain mean
wavelength
Gain
bandwith
FWHM1
Output
power1
Saturation
output
power2
ASE
ripples
RMS3
PEROperating
current
nmnmmWdBmdBdBmA
BOA-1060-80-YY-120mW106080120200.0120400
BOA-1310-50-YY-200mW130550250210.1181000

Typical parameters of fiber-coupled SOAs

Part numberGain mean
wavelength
Gain
bandwith
FWHM1
Small
signal
gain1
Saturation
output
power2
Noise
figure
Gain
maximum
wavelength
Gain
spectrum
dip
ASE
power
ASE
ripples
RMS3
PEROperating
current
nmnmdBdBmdBnmdBmWdBdBmA
SOA-780-20-YY-30dB7752032156.577570.0314300
SOA-1000-100-YY-30dB100010033186.5960, 103012500220600
SOA-1020-110-YY-27dB102011027157.5970, 10404150.0220450
SOA-1030-20-YY-40dB103020401881030700.0320400
SOA-1060-20-YY-40dB106022401881065600.0220400
SOA-1060-90-YY-30dB10609030185106070.0220400
SOA-1080-20-YY-40dB108027381771085400.0220400
SOA-1130-20-YY-35dB1125253515101125300.0320600
SOA-1140-90-YY-24dB11409024174.51110, 1170510.0120400
SOA-1190-90-YY-20dB11909020156.51160, 122550.70.0220300
SOA-1250-110-YY-27dB125011027157.51210 , 1280650.0520900
SOA-1290-40-YY-25dB12854524127.5129010.0220400

1 – @ – 25dBm input signal, gain maximum
2 – @ – 3dB, gain maximum
3 – @ ASE maximum, RMS in 1 nm range, 10pm resolution