In comparison, fiber amplifiers doped with trivalent rare-earth ions like Er3+ combine good overall gain with low noise and negligible non-linearities. However, this comes at the cost of having to use several meters of fiber length, making them unsuitable for on-chip applications.
By engineering the host material, dopant concentration, and geometry the MESA+ scientists were able to increase the modal gain per unit length of rare-earth-ion-doped waveguide amplifiers to ~1000 dB/cm.
The approach uses the family of monoclinic potassium double tungstates KY(WO4)2, KGd(WO4)2, and KLu(WO4)2. Yb3+ ions doped into these materials possess some of the highest transition cross-sections observed in dielectric materials.
Besides their applicability as on-chip amplifiers for high-bit-rate data transmission at signal wavelengths around 1 ìm, these new rare-earth-ion-doped amplifiers may be used to provide optical gain in nanophotonic devices, such as nanoamplifiers and nanolasers, and may enable lossless propagation in plasmonic nanostructures.
For more information on Advanced Optical Materials, visit www.advopticalmat.de.
The article is available at http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/adma.201101781.
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Carmen Teutsch | Wiley-VCH
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