Abstract

We use a tight-binding formalism in the time domain to analyze the effect of resonant gain enhancement and spontaneous emission noise in amplifying coupled-resonator optical waveguides (CROWs). We find the net amplification of a wave propagating in a CROW does not always vary with the group velocity, and depends strongly on the termination and excitation of these structures. The signal-to-noise ratio and noise figure of CROW amplifiers are derived in the tight-binding formalism as well. The physical interpretations and practical consequences of the theoretical results are discussed.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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