Techniques for modulating the output of lasers in optical communications systems are of many types and include direct current modulation and external modulation. To achieve very high bandwidth transmission as by time division multiplexing (TDM), optical pulses need to be short, such as those obtained from a mode-locked laser. In this case, however, an external modulator is necessary to impart information to the beam. We describe a novel modulator/switch which can switch 5-psec pulses at rates up to 1 GHz with modulation depths of 100 and with builtin gain.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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