We present experimental studies of GaAlAs amplifier performance using optical pulses as short as 100 fs. A Hitachi laser diode with antireflection coated facets is biased with a dc to function as an optical amplifier. The gain saturation and recovery of the diode are found to depend strongly on input pulse width. When 0.4-ps pulses are used, the performance of the amplifier is as shown by the bottom points in Fig. 1. As the input pulse energy is increased, the single-pass gain of the amplifier saturates by a factor of 5. However, a weak pulse following 25 ps later receives almost the full gain of the device (top points). Although there is large self-saturation of the strong

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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