Fiber-optic systems require light sources that can be modulated with a signal and transfer that optical signal efficiently into a fiber. The two primary types are light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and semiconductor lasers (also called diode lasers). This chapter covers important considerations for fiber-optic light sources, the basic principles of LEDs and lasers, and the main types of these light sources used in fiber-optic systems. It also briefly describes fiber lasers.
This chapter will teach you what you should know about lasers and LEDs to work with fiber optics, but it does not cover all types of lasers. Chapter 10 covers how light sources are incorporated into fiber-optic transmitters. Chapter 11 covers receivers, which convert optical signals back to electronic form at the other end of the fiber. Optical amplifiers, which are closely related to diode lasers and fiber lasers, are mentioned in this chapter, but covered in detail in Chapter 12.
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