The temporal evolution of the α-factor during pump-probe experiments in semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) is not constant but varies strongly with time. It even takes on negative values for short periods of time. As a consequence, cross-phase modulation (XPM) effects usually lag behind cross-gain modulation effects by several picoseconds. This delay has important consequences for ultrafast operation of all-optical devices based on SOAs. It actually means that not every scheme will be suited for ultrafast operation. In order to properly model the XPM and phase variations within an SOA during a pump-probe experiment, a new parameterization for the α-factor is introduced. Inclusion of this model leads to an excellent agreement with the recent 160-Gb/s experiments for both phase and amplitude evolutions of the respective signals with time.
© 2007 IEEEPDF Article