The application of modulation instability-initiated nonlinear broadening of two CW pumps at different wavelengths, in order to achieve superior gain ripple performance in broadband Raman amplifiers, is demonstrated for the first time experimentally. A particular example using Truewave and LEAF fibers is offered, in which the 0.1 dB gain ripple band is extended from 5 nm to 19 nm. Experimental results are in a good agreement with numerical modeling. Guidelines for optimal broadening are discussed. © 2005 Optical Society of America.
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