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Optical Engineering

Optical amplification and its saturation in semiconductor quantum wells
Author(s): G. Bongiovanni; Jerome Butty; Jean Louis Staehli
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Paper Abstract

The spontaneous and stimulated emissions of strongly excited GaAs/(Ga,Al)As quantum wells are investigated in the one-dimensional optical amplifier geometry, using the variable-stripe-length method. The optical amplification and its saturation are studied by monitoring the spectra of spontaneous and amplified luminescence as a function of the position on the stripe. The deduced experimental spatial dependences of carrier and luminous densities are found to agree in a semiquantitative way with the numerical solutions of the amplifier equation, obtained by assuming steady state and thermal carrier distributions. Saturation of optical amplification is caused by two effects: (1) carrier depopulation through stimulated recombination of electron-hole pairs, and (2) loss of light caused by scattering at sample defects and by imperfect wave guiding.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1995
PDF: 10 pages
Opt. Eng. 34(7) doi: 10.1117/12.200612
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 34, Issue 7
Show Author Affiliations
G. Bongiovanni, Univ. of Cagliari (Italy)
Jerome Butty, Ecole Polytechnique Federale (Switzerland)
Jean Louis Staehli, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (Switzerland)


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