In response to the explosion in wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) technology along with the requirement for increased amplifier spans the major drive over recent years has been to increase the bandwidth, flatness and output power of EDFAs. Materials continue to be modified, for example to improve the spectral flatness of silica-based amplifiers in the 15401560 nm window. In addition, excellent bandwidth has been demonstrated with Er-ZBLAN-based amplifiers in a WDM system. New amplifier configurations continue to be explored and significant developments have been achieved, particularly, via the combination of fibre grating and EDFA technologies. Long period gratings have been employed for gain flattening whilst simple reflecting gratings have been used for feedback to give gain control and clamping via laser locking as well as pump recycling.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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