An experimental characterization of broadband semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) at 1360 nm is reported. In addition to their inherent small size, fast dynamics, and feasibility of integration with other optoelectronic components, the relevance of the multi quantum well (MQW) asymmetric SOAs here reported relies on the achievement of a flat and broad 3 dB amplification bandwidth. SOAs are composed of nine In1-xGaxAsyP1-y 0.2% tensile strained MQW layers separated by latticed matched InP barriers. The asymmetry of the active region is based on the difference of the molar concentrations, with Ga (x) ranging from 0.46 to 0.47 and As (y) ranging from 0.89 to 0.94. Devices under test have 7 degrees tilt cleaved facets and feature different geometries: ridge widths from 2 to 4 μm in steps of 0.25 μm, and cavity lengths of 600, 900, 1200, and 1500 μm. Fabry-Pérot (FP) lasers with the same material composition as the SOAs and within the same wafer are used as test structures for parameters extraction, providing a feedback mechanism for further design improvement. The ridge width of the FP lasers varies from 2 to 8 μm, in steps of 2 μm. All the devices have been designed and characterized at the Photonics Technology Laboratory, Centre for Research in Photonics, fabrication was done at Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (CPFC), Canada and supported by CMC Microsystems.
Devices under test are DC-biased and temperature controlled at 25°C. A single pass gain of 13.5 dB is measured for a 3 dB bandwidth of 60 nm centred at 1360 nm. Light-current plots obtained from the FP lasers show that the threshold current varies with the cavity length, with a minimum of 80 mA for a cavity length of 600 μm and a ridge width of 2 μm. A thermal roll-off occurring at high injection currents is observed, especially with the smallest cavity length. In conclusion, asymmetric MQW SOAs featuring different ridge widths and cavity lengths have been