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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17265

Title: High-speed Properties of 1.55-micron-wavelength Quantum Dot Semiconductor Amplifiers and Comparison with Higher-Dimensional Structures
Authors: Zilkie, Aaron John
Advisor: Aitchison, J. Stewart
Smith, Peter W. E.
Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering
Keywords: quantum dot
semiconductor optical amplifiers
all-optical switching
semiconductor nonlinear dynamics
semiconductor lasers
nonlinear optics
semiconductor physics
linewidth enhancement factor
two-photon absorption
quantum well
quantum dash
ultrafast lasers
optical signal processing
Issue Date: 26-Feb-2009
Abstract: This thesis reports an experimental characterization of the ultrafast gain and refractive index dynamics of a novel InAs/InGaAsP/InP quantum-dot (QD) semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) operating near 1.55-µm wavelengths, assessing its high-speed performance characteristics for the first time. The thesis also studies the influence of the degree of quantum confinement on the dynamics of SOAs by comparing the zero-dimensional (0-D) QD's dynamics to those in 1-D InAs/InAlGaAs/InP quantum-dash (QDash), and 2-D InGaAsP/InGaAsP/InP quantum-well (QW) SOAs, both of which also operate near 1.55-µm wavelengths, and are made with matching or similar materials and structures. The ultrafast (around 1 ps) and long-lived (up to 2 ns) amplitude and phase dynamics of the SOAs are characterized via advanced heterodyne pump-probe measurements with 150-femtosecond resolution. It is found that the QD SOA has an 80-picosecond amplitude, and 110-picosecond phase recovery lifetime in the gain regime, 4-6 times faster than the QDash and QW recovery lifetimes, as well as reduced ultrafast transients, giving it the best properties for high-speed (> 100 Gb/s) all-optical signal processing in the important telecommunications wavelength bands. An impulse response model is developed and used to analyze the dynamics, facilitating a comparison of the gain compression factors, time-resolved linewidth enhancement factors (alpha-factors), and instantaneous dynamic coefficients (two-photon absorption and nonlinear refractive-index coefficients) amongst the three structures. The quantum-dot device is found to have the lowest effective alpha-factor, 2-10, compared to 8-16 in the QW, as well as time-resolved alpha-factors lower than in the QW—promising for reduced-phase-transient operation at high bitrates. Significant differences in the alpha-factors of lasers with the same structure are found, due to the differences between gain changes that are induced optically or through the electrical bias. The relative contributions of stimulated transitions and free-carrier absorption to the total carrier heating dynamics in SOAs of varying dimensionality are also reported for the first time. Examining the QD electroluminescence and linear gain spectra in combination with the carrier dynamics also brings about conclusions on the nature of the quantum confinement, dot energy-level structure, and density of states—aspects of the material that have not been previously well understood.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17265
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering - Doctoral theses

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