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5 - Fiber amplifiers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 May 2011

Malin Premaratne
Affiliation:
Monash University, Victoria
Govind P. Agrawal
Affiliation:
University of Rochester, New York
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Summary

Modern optical fibers exhibit very low losses (≈ 0.2 dB/km) in the 1.55 μm wavelength region that is of interest for telecommunications applications. Even though light at wavelengths in this region can be transmitted over more than 100 km before its power degrades considerably, an optical amplifier is eventually needed for any telecommunications system to restore the signal power to its original level. Since a fiber-based amplifier is preferred for practical reasons, such amplifiers were developed during the 1980s by doping standard optical fibers with rare-earth elements (known as lanthanides), a group of 14 elements with atomic numbers in the range from 58 to 71. The term rare appears to be a historical misnomer because rare-earth elements are relatively abundant in nature. When these elements are doped into silica or other glass fibers, they become triply ionized. Many different rare-earth elements, such as erbium, holmium, neodymium, samarium, thulium, and ytterbium, can be used to make fiber amplifiers that operate at wavelengths covering a wide range from visible to infrared. Amplifier characteristics, such as the operating wavelength and the gain bandwidth, are determined by the dopants rather than by the fiber, which plays the role of a host medium. However, because of the tight confinement of light provided by guided modes, fiber amplifiers can provide high optical gains at moderate pump power levels over relatively large spectral band-widths, making them suitable for many telecommunications and signal-processing applications [1–3].

Type
Chapter
Information
Light Propagation in Gain Media
Optical Amplifiers
, pp. 113 - 142
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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  • Fiber amplifiers
  • Malin Premaratne, Monash University, Victoria, Govind P. Agrawal, University of Rochester, New York
  • Book: Light Propagation in Gain Media
  • Online publication: 03 May 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511973635.006
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  • Fiber amplifiers
  • Malin Premaratne, Monash University, Victoria, Govind P. Agrawal, University of Rochester, New York
  • Book: Light Propagation in Gain Media
  • Online publication: 03 May 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511973635.006
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Fiber amplifiers
  • Malin Premaratne, Monash University, Victoria, Govind P. Agrawal, University of Rochester, New York
  • Book: Light Propagation in Gain Media
  • Online publication: 03 May 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511973635.006
Available formats
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