Abstract

Measurements of spontaneous emission from an InGaAsP semiconductor optical amplifier provide information on both carrier density and carrier temperature. By spatially resolving the light emitted along the active layer of the device we find evidence for longitudinal spatial hole burning which results from amplified spontaneous emission in the structure and from the injected optical signal. Under injection, we also observe a pronounced asymmetry of the amplified spontaneous emission intensity from the two facets and relate it to the carrier density profile. The experimental results are in good agreement with numerical simulations. An analysis of the measured spectra reveals an unexpected temperature decrease of 35 K in the middle of the device when light is injected. We conclude that stimulated recombination is not the dominant carrier heating mechanism at 200 mA applied current.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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