Multiple quantum well (MQW) optical amplifiers are key components in advanced photonic integrated circuits1 as well as in nonlinear switching and processing. MQW amplifiers have high saturation powers2 and may incorporate strained layers for the elimination of the polarization dependence of the gain.3 An additional promising characteristic of MQW amplifiers is their low noise. The efficient inversion possible in a MQW medium results in a low spontaneous emission factor, NSp, (see Ref. 4) and hence a low noise figure. This has been recently demonstrated in an AlGaAs/GaAs MQW optical amplifier for which a 4.6-dB noise figure was reported.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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