During recent years there has been a large increase in the demand for fast, high capacity telecommunication systems, driven by the rapid growth of e.g. the World Wide Web. This demand can be met by optical fibre networks using the wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technique, where signals are transmitted at different wavelengths through the same fibre. The realisation of high capacity all-optical networks, presents a great challenge to the development of new optical components. In this project materials for amplification of light in advanced integrated-optics components are developed, using erbium-doped silica glass thin films. The work implies the development of suitable processes for material production and formation of waveguiding structures. In 1999 a method for producing arrays of planar waveguide lasers was developed, and shown to yield high optical quality outputs suitable for WDM applications. Further, a signal-power splitter with an integrated optical amplifier was demonstrated. With this device the signal-power loss associated with the splitting of an optical signal, was compensated by the amplifier section, providing an effectively loss-less component.
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