This thesis presents experimental investigations of the use of semiconductor optical amplifiers in a nonlinear loop mirror (SOA-NOLM) and its application in all-optical processing. The techniques used are mainly experimental and are divided into three major applications. Initially the semiconductor optical amplifier, SOA, is experimentally characterised and the optimum operating condition is identified. An interferometric switch based on a Sagnac loop with the SOA as the nonlinear element is employed to realise all-optical switching. All-optical switching is a very attractive alternative to optoelectronic conversion because it avoids the conversion from the optical to the electronic domain and back again. The first major investigation involves a carrier suppressed return to zero, CSRZ, format conversion and transmission. This study is divided into single channel and four channel WDM respectively. The optical bandwidth which limits the conversion is investigated. The improvement of the nonlinear tolerance in the CSRZ transmission is shown which shows the suitability of this format for enhancing system performance. Second, a symmetrical switching window is studied in the SOA-NOLM where two similar control pulses are injected into the SOA from opposite directions. The switching window is symmetric when these two control pulses have the same power and arrive at the same time in the SOA. Finally, I study an all-optical circulating shift register with an inverter. The detailed behaviour of the blocks of zeros and ones has been analysed in terms of their transient measurement. Good agreement with a simple model of the shift register is obtained. The transient can be reduced but it will affect the extinction ratio of the pulses.
|Date of Award||2009|
|Supervisor||Keith Blow (Supervisor)|
- SOA-NOLM all-optical processing