Wavelength converters based on cross-phase modulation (XPM) in semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) are attractive for all-optical networks [1]-[4]. For the purposes of device design and system simulation, a time-domain model of an SOA-MZI wavelength converter is required. The model must accurately account for the effect of saturation on both the optical gain and refractive index, the latter being particularly important for XPM based wavelength conversion. The SOA-MZI wavelength converter can be used with either co- or counter-propagating input signals. In the time domain, the numerical modeling for counter-propagating signals is a complex task as the propagation delays of the optical signals must be considered. In this paper, we present a time-domain model for SOAs that includes the effect of saturation on the gain and refractive index, and use the model as a basis for simulating SOA-MZI wavelength converters with co- and counter-propagating signals.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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