Quantum dot (QD)-based semiconductor optical amplifiers offer unique properties compared with conventional devices based on bulk or quantum well material. Due to the bandfilling properties of QDs and the existence of a nearby reservoir of carriers in the form of a wetting layer, QD semiconductor optical amplifiers may be operated in regimes of high linearity, i.e. with a high saturation power, but can also show strong and fast nonlinearities by breaking the equilibrium between discrete dot states and the continuum of wetting layer states. In this paper, we analyse the interplay of these two carrier populations in terms of a simple rate equation model. Based on the steady-state and small-signal properties of the model, we analyse and discuss the optical modulation response and the four-wave mixing properties of QD semiconductor optical amplifiers, in particular emphasizing the role of ultrafast gain dynamics.
|Journal||New Journal of Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|