We demonstrate optical signal amplification in a solid-state dye-doped polymer with a rib waveguide structure. The device consists of a 1μm x 120μm poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) waveguide, doped with 1% by weight Rhodamine 640 dye, spin coated onto a silica substrate. A 625nm pulsed signal and a co-linear 575nm pump are facet coupled into the waveguide and optical amplification of the signal is demonstrated.
Depending on the signal intensity, a maximum internal gain in the 21-26dB range at 625nm is achieved using a 1.2cm long waveguide. The device exhibits a promising signal-to-noise ratio in the 9-16dB range and has the potential for tuning in a 40-50nm wavelength window with the same dye, and throughout the visible spectrum using other dyes. The wavelength operating range of this device is also analyzed.
We therefore present a compact, easy to fabricate, high gain block suitable for use in conjunction with plastic optical fibers, which have a low-loss window at around 640nm. Since most of the optical amplification takes place in a short region (<10μm), an even more compact device geometry can be envisaged using a shorter waveguide.