At the beginning of this decade, it was realized that the non-linear effects responsible for signal distortions in semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOA) could in fact be exploited for numerous applications in signal processing: wavelength conversion, optical gating and sampling, clock recovery, phase conjugation, OTDM functions such as time multiplexing or demultiplexing, and more recently alloptical regeneration are some applications for SOAs. There are roughly two kinds of physical effects involved in these applications: gain saturation, due to interband relaxation mechanisms on a time scale of tens to hundreds of picoseconds, with very high power efficiencies, and intraband relaxations, with much shorter relaxation times (< 1 ps).

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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