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Optical Sampling Using Nondegenerate Four-Wave Mixing in a Semiconductor Laser Amplifier*

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Abstract

The optical sampling technique, the optical analog of electrical sampling used in electrical sampling oscilloscopes, provides a powerful method for measuring high-speed optical waveforms1. Several optical switches have been realized to perform the necessary cross-correlation between sampling and signal pulses. These switches are based on sum frequency generation (SFG) in nonlinear crystals1,2,3 or χ(3) nonlinearities in optical fiber4,5. The optical sampling measurement described here is based on nondegenerate four-wave mixing (NDFWM) in semiconductor laser amplifiers (SLAs)6. Unlike switches based on nonlinearities in fiber4,5, the SLA offers a compact, enviromentally stable medium for efficient cross-correlation signal generation where the necessary condition for phase matching is easily met over a broad range of wavelengths.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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