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Optical Amplification

:
Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier (EDFA)
and Raman Amplifier
IMPRESSUM

© 2008 by
Wired Communications Group
Institute for Communications Engineering (LNT)
Theresienstraße 90
D-80333 München
Germany
Phone: +49 89 23479 (Dipl.-Ing. Florian Breyer)
Contents

Theory .................................................................................................................................... 4
1. The Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier (EDFA) ................................................................ 4
1.1. EDFA Principle ..................................................................................................... 4
1.2. Physical Modeling ................................................................................................. 6
2. Raman Amplifier ........................................................................................................... 9
2.1. Amplifier Principle ................................................................................................ 9
2.2. Physical Modeling ............................................................................................... 10
Bibliography ........................................................................................................................ 12
Lab on Simulation of Optical Communication Systems
4
Theory
In this chapter some theoretical background about Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifiers
(EDFAs) and Raman Amplifiers are provided. Like Lasers, optical amplifiers use the effect
of Stimulated Emission to coherently amplify signal light. As unavoidable perturbation
some amount of broadband noise is generated due to Spontaneous Emission of light
photons. Due to the slightly different performance of EDFA’S and Raman amplifiers, the
two amplifiers are described in separate chapters.
1. The Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier (EDFA)
The principle of doped fiber-based amplification had been demonstrated as early as the
introduction of the first optical fibers in the 1960’s: rare earth ions, distributed in the core
of a fiber, are excited by infrared light and thus amplify a propagating signal by stimulated
emission [1]. A decade later the first fiber amplifier pumped by semiconductor laser
sources was realized [2]. But the interest ceased, since these early prototypes used
neodymium as dopant material, thus operating in the wavelength range around 1.06 µm,
whereas lightwave technology turned to 1.3 and 1.55 µm. The breakthrough for practical
applicability came in 1985, when David Payne and his research group at the University of
Southampton demonstrated optical amplification with erbium doped fibers for 1.55 µm. In
the 1990’s the EDFA became a commercially available component.

An EDFA combines some important advantages for practical lightwave systems. It
operates in the 1.55 µm window, it can be pumped very efficiently at 980 nm and / or 1480
nm, where semiconductor laser sources are available, and amplifier gains of 30 - 40 dB can
be achieved. Modulated optical signals are amplified extremely linearly, with negligible
crosstalk from signals on other carrier wavelengths. EDFAs work independently of the
signal polarization, and with reasonably low noise.

1.1. EDFA Principle
An EDFA is a length of erbium doped single mode fiber pumped with semiconductor laser
sources (see Fig. 1).


Fig. 1: Bidirectionally pumped EDFA (
in
E
r
: electrical field at input;
out
E
r
: electrical field at output; IS:
isolator; WSC: wavelength selective coupler;
+
P
P : Pump power in forward direction;

P
P : Pump power in
backward direction
WSC
+
P
P
IS
WSC

P
P
IS
Erbium
doped
fiber
in
E
r
out
E
r
Session 5

5
For high efficiency, the erbium ions are confined in the core around the fiber’s central axis.
The pump power is either coupled into the input of the erbium fiber (forward pumping, co-
propagating signal and pump) or backward into the output of the erbium fiber (backward
pumping, counter-propagating signal and pump) or into both ends simultaneously
(bidirectional pumping). Optical isolators are blocking backward propagating light which
would otherwise act as additional noise.

The amplification process is based on electron transitions between the energy levels of
erbium. Energy from incident pump photons promotes electrons from the ground state to a
higher energy level, if the photon energy is just equal to the energy difference between
these two levels. Excited electrons relax spontaneously or stimulated. Spontaneous decays
are either nonradiative, creating phonons (i. e. vibrations of the material structure), or
radiative, emitting photons with statistical phase and polarization. If pumping stops, the
density of excited states decreases exponentially with a time constant known as
spontaneous lifetime. Stimulated decays are triggered by photons whose energy agrees
with the energy gap between ground and excited state. The emitted photons have the same
phase and polarization than the stimulating photons.
With these concepts of quantum mechanics the amplification process can be described
phenomenologically. Pump light propagating along the fiber is absorbed by ground state
erbium atoms lifting them to the pump level. (see Fig. 2). From there they decay very fast
and nonradiatively to the excited level. Since the spontaneous lifetime there of about 10 ms
is very long, population inversion between ground and excited level is established. That
means, the majority of erbium atoms are in the excited state. The excited atoms can be
stimulated by photons of an incident signal with suitable wavelength to emit additional
photons, thus amplifying the signal. The remaining excited atoms decay spontaneously. In
the following Erbium-fiber section the light generated by spontaneous emission is
amplified concurrently with the signal, thus generating the so-called amplified spontaneous
emission (ASE), which acts as noise, thus degrading the signal to noise ratio. The erbium
atoms in the ground state eventually reabsorb signal and ASE, since they can be lifted
directly to the excited state by photons at the signal wavelength. Therefore, a signal
propagating along the fiber will be amplified as long as this absorption process is
dominated by stimulated emission, i. e. the pump power remains above a specific threshold
value. However, due to pump absorption, the pump signal can be attenuated below this
threshold, if the fiber is too long. The total signal gain of an EDFA thus has a maximum
value at an optimum fiber length.


Fig. 2: Simplified three-level energy diagram of erbium. The indices NR and R mean that the respective
pontaneous (A
ij
) transitions are nonradiative or radiative.
W
13

W
12
W
21
A
21,R

A
32,NR
W
31

1 (ground level)
2 (excited level)
3 (980 nm pump level)
Lab on Simulation of Optical Communication Systems
6
1.2. Physical Modeling
The phenomenological description of the preceding section shows that the amplification
process is based on electron transitions and signal propagation: the interaction of
absorption and stimulated emission causes conversion of pump power into signal- and
ASE-power when the respective light waves propagate along the erbium doped fiber. The
mathematical modeling uses rate equations of the electron transitions between the energy
levels of the erbium atom, and power propagation equations which govern the evolution
of the signals along the fiber.
The rate equations can be derived from the energy levels of an erbium atom. Fig. 2
depicts energy levels and transitions which are essentially involved in the amplification
process. Absorbing pump-light at a wavelength of 1480 nm or 980 nm, Erbium-Ions
assume the 2. or 3. energy state, respectively. As the lifetime of Erbium-Ions in the 3.
Energy State is very short, the ions leave this state almost immediately (without emitting
light, as this transition is non-radiative) and assume the metastable excited energy level 2.
By spontaneous or stimulated emission of light the Erbium ions fall back to the ground
state, thus amplifying the propagating optical signal, or generating ASE noise. Each
transition in fig. 2 is characterized by a rate coefficient A
ij
or W
ij
which specifies the
number of transitions per unit time and erbium atom. A
ij
denote the spontaneous radiative
or nonradiative emission rates, being simply the inverse of the spontaneous lifetimes, i. e.
A
ij
=1/τ
ij
. W
ij
are the respective stimulated emission rates, with i, j ∈ [1, 2, 3]. The
population densities N
i
of the Erbium-Ions are governed by the following rate-equations:
.
,
,
3 , 32 3 31 1 13
3
3 , 32 2 , 21 2 21 1 12
2
2 , 21 2 21 1 12 3 31 1 13
1
N A N W N W
dt
dN
N A N A N W N W
dt
dN
N A N W N W N W N W
dt
dN
NR
NR R
R
− − =
+ − − =
+ + − + − =
Eq. 1
As the total density of erbium ions is defined by the density of erbium ions N
dop
due to the
doping process, one of the above equations is redundant, as
). ( ) ( ) ( ) (
3 2 1
r N r N r N r N
dop
r r r r
+ + = Eq. 2
T
z y x r ) , , ( =
r
is the location in the doped fiber core. In the steady state the time
derivatives of Eq. 1 are set to zero. Taking into account that the lifetime of erbium ions at
level 3 is very short, this level is assumed empty (i. e. N
3
≈ 0). In this case, analytical
solutions for N
1
and N
2
are obtained according to:
). ( ) ( ) (
), (
/ 1 ) ( ) ( ) (
) ( ) (
) (
2 1
21 21 13 12
13 12
2
r N r N r N
r N
r W r W r W
r W r W
r N
dop
dop
r r r
r
r r r
r r
r
− =

+ + +
+
=
τ
Eq. 3
The light power P(z) propagating along the erbium fiber varies with z due to absorption
and emission, and is distributed spectrally over frequency or wavelength, and spatially over
the fiber cross section (x, y). The optical spectrum is defined as power density over wave-
length S(z, λ λλ λ). The spectrum of the light intensity I(x,y,z,λ λλ λ) over the fiber cross section
can be evaluated as
( ) ( ) λ ψ λ λ , , , ) , , , ( y x z S z y x I
I
⋅ = , Eq. 4
Session 5

7
where ( ) λ ψ , , y x
I
is the normalized intensity profile, i. e. ( ) 1 , , =
∫∫
dxdy y x
I
λ ψ . The total
light power P(z) is the integral of S(z, λ) over wavelength:
( )


∞ −
= λ λ d z S z P , ) ( . Eq. 5
Now we consider an erbium atom with arbitrary energy state subject to an incident optical
field. The field intensity can be regarded as constant in the vicinity of the atom. The atom
can be assigned an effective aperture through which it receives energy from the field. The
wavelength-dependent probability of each radiative transition from level i to j in Fig. 2 is
characterized by such an aperture, known as absorption or emission cross section σ
ij
(λ)
depending on level j being higher or lower than level i. Measured emission- (σ
21
(λ)) and
absorption- (σ
12
(λ)) cross-sections for the transitions between ground level and excited
level are depicted in Fig. 3.

Fig. 3: Measured emission and absorption cross sections of Erbium.
The spectral power dP in a wavelength interval dλ received by an erbium atom is the
product of the local field intensity λ λ d r I ) , (
r
and the cross section, i. e.
( ) λ λ λ σ d r I dP
ij
) , (
r
⋅ = . The atom will carry out a transition to a higher or lower level j by
absorbing or emitting a photon, respectively, when the energy collected from the incident
power reaches the photon energy h·f. Thus, the quotient of power and photon energy,
dP/(h·f) = dP·λ/(h·c), is the rate of transitions per atom in the wavelength interval
dλ. Integrating this expression over the considered wavelength range yields the total
transition rate per erbium atom for time constant signal powers:
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )


⋅ ⋅ ⋅

=
0
, , , λ λ ψ λ λ σ
λ
d y x z S
c h
r W
I ij ij
r
. Eq. 6
The spectral power S(z, λ) in the erbium fiber is the sum of the forward, in z-direction, and
backward, against z-direction, propagating power spectra, i. e. S(z, λ) = S
+
(z, λ) + S
-
(z, λ).
S
+
(z, λ) and S
-
(z, λ) will be changed by three mechanisms of interaction with the erbium
atoms when propagating in the fiber: absorption, stimulated and spontaneous emission. We
consider now the erbium atoms in energy level i within a rectangular volume element with
cross section dA = dx·dy and length dz located at position r
r
in the erbium fiber (see Fig.
4).


σ σσ σ
12 12 12 12
/10
-25
m
2

λ/µ λ/µ λ/µ λ/µm
1.425 1.5 1.575 1.65
6.
4.
2.
0.

σ σσ σ
21 21 21 21
/10
-25
m
2

λ/µ λ/µ λ/µ λ/µm
1.425 1.5 1.575 1.65
6.
8.
4.
2.
0.
Lab on Simulation of Optical Communication Systems
8

Fig. 4: Spectral power conversion in a volume element.
The total number of atoms with energy level i is the product of the volume-element size
and the corresponding population density, i. e. N
i
·dA·dz. Each atom eventually transits to a
higher or lower power level j by absorbing or emitting optical power with the cross section
σ
ij
(λ). In summary they form a total active aperture ( ) dAdz t r N A
i ij
ij
) , (
r
⋅ = λ σ
σ
in the
volume element. Consequently, the power density ( ) ( ) dA y x t z S
I
⋅ ⋅
±
λ ψ λ , , , , incident on
the cross-section surface dA of the volume element changes by
( ) ( ) [ ] ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( ) dAdz t r N y x z S
A y x z S dA y x z S d
i ij I
I I
ij
) , ( , , ,
, , , , , ,
r
⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ± =
= ⋅ ⋅ ± = ⋅ ⋅
±
± ±
λ σ λ ψ λ
λ ψ λ λ ψ λ
σ
Eq. 7
in case of S
±
(z, λ) being amplified by stimulated emission. σ
ij
(λ) is the cross section for the
evaluated stimulated emission process. Integrating the contributions of all volume elements
of the fiber cross section gives:
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )dz z S z g dz z S dxdy t r N y x z dS
ij
A
i I ij
λ λ λ λ ψ λ σ λ , , , ) , ( , , ,
± ± ±
⋅ ± = ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ± =
∫∫
r
Eq. 8
Considering absorption of S
±
(z, λ) in the volume element, S
±
(z, λ) has to be replaced by
-S
±
(z, λ) on the right of eq. (8). Of course, in this case σ
ij
(λ) is the cross section for the
respective absorption process.
In the case of spontaneous emission, light photons are emitted spontaneously due to
spontaneous decays of excited erbium atoms according to A
21,R
in Eq. 1. These photons are
then amplified by stimulated emission like propagating signal light. It has been shown that
the spontaneously generated light power per frequency of all volume elements over the
fiber-cross-section at position z is equal to m·h·f = m·h·c/λ, which is equivalent to the
generation of one photon per light mode guided in the fiber. In case of a standard single
mode fiber, we have two orthogonal fundamental modes, i. e. m = 2. The corresponding
power per wavelength is obtained by rescaling the above expression according to |df/dλ| =
c/λ
2
, thus giving the expression m·h·c
2

3
.
Finally, summing the contributions of all possible radiative transitions leads to the
differential equation
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) [ ] ( ) λ λ α λ λ λ λ
λ
λ , , , , ,
2
,
13 12 21 21 3
2
z S z g z g z g z g
hc
z S
dz
d
± ±
⋅ − − − ± ⋅

± = Eq. 9
with the gain coefficients

( ) ( ) ( )
∫∫
⋅ ⋅ =
A
i I ij ij
dxdy t r N y x z g ) , ( , , ,
r
λ ψ λ σ λ . Eq. 10
The “+” sign in Eq. 9 holds for forward propagating waves, “-“ is valid evaluating the
backward propagating waves. The first term on the right of Eq. 9 is related to Amplified
Spontaneous Emission (ASE), the following three terms model emission and absorption of
dA
dz
S
S+dS
Session 5

9
signal and pump wavelengths. α(λ) finally represents conventional fiber attenuation. It is
important to notice that the power spectrum S(z, λ) includes signal and noise at frequency
f. As it is important to distinguish signal and noise when evaluating an EDFA, S(z, λ) is
further decomposed into signal- and noise-part, thus generating two coupled differential
equations according to eq. 9.
Eqns. 3, 6, 9 and 10 build the coupled system of differential equations that model signal
amplification and noise generation along an Erbium-doped fiber. It cannot be solved
analytically. Therefore, numerical procedures have been developed to evaluate the
amplification- and noise-characteristics of the EDFA. The WDM-Signal- and Noise-
Spectra are first decomposed into several wavelength-sections. The power-evolution of
Signal and Noise in every single wavelength-‘slot‘ is governed by a Differential-Equation
according to Eq. 9. As the investigated spectral components propagate in principle bi-
directionally, boundary-conditions at both ends of the Erbium-Doped Fiber are required.
Typically the wavelength-dependent input-intensity-distributions of the signals and of the
pump-waves are known. Unidirectional and bi-directional pumping are both options to
operate an EDFA. Sophisticated iterative numerical methods are then applied to solve the
Coupled System of Differential Equations.

2. Raman Amplifier

Raman amplifiers can be realized using the single-mode transmission fiber itself as
amplifying medium. Here, the propagating light interacts with Silica-molecules which
absorb and emit light photons by spontaneous or stimulated emission.

2.1. Amplifier Principle

The energy level diagram of a silica-molecule depicted in Fig. 5 yields a very plausible
illustration of Raman Scattering. At room temperature most molecules are in the ground
level of energy E
0
. Photons of a propagating light wave at frequency f
P
(the so-called pump
frequency) are absorbed by the molecules, which are now at a „forbidden“ virtual enegy
level E‘. After a very short time they return spontaneously either to the ground level
(emitting one photon at f
P
), or to the excited energy level E
1
, now emitting a photon at
frequency f
S
(the so-called Stokes-frequency). The remaining energy is in this case left in
the molecule, stimulating oscillations of the nuclei. The first case (emitting f
P
) is related to
Rayleigh-Scattering, the latter case (emitting f
S
) is denoted as Spontaneous Raman
Scattering. Phase, propagation direction, and Light-Polarisation of the emitted Photons are
completely random, therefore Spontaneous Scattering simply attenuates the Pump-Light.
Lab on Simulation of Optical Communication Systems
10

Fig. 5: Energy level of a silica molecule, absorption and Spontaneous Raman Scattering

A more relevant situation is given if a propagating Stokes-Wave (frequency f
S
) is already
present, and both Pump- and Stokes-Waves propagate through the silica-fiber. After
absorption of a Pump-photon, the molecule is stimulated by the Stokes-wave to emit
another Stokes photon that matches in phase, propagation direction, and light-polarisation
exactly with the stimulating Stokes light. Therefore, coherent amplification of Stokes light
is achieved, at the expense of a nonlinearly attenuated Pump-wave. This effect is called
Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS).

Fig. 6: Energy level of a silica molecule, absorption and Stimulated Raman Scattering


2.2. Physical Modeling

Equations governing the evolution of the light-power P of Pump- and Stokes-waves can be
derived using analog steps as in case of an EDFA. For the simple case of one discrete
Pump wave amplifying another discrete Stokes wave, the modeling coupled differential-
equations are:
( )
( )
( )
( )
S P
eff
S P P R
S S
S
P S
eff
S P P R
S
P
P P
P
P P
A
f f f g
P f
dz
dP
P P
A
f f f g
f
f
P f
dz
dP
⋅ ⋅

+ ⋅ − =
⋅ ⋅

⋅ − ⋅ − =
,
,
α
α
Eq. 11
α
P
and α
S
are the linear attenuation coefficients of Pump- and Stokes-waves, respectively.
The frequency dependent Raman-Gain g
R
is effecting nonlinear amplification of the Stokes
wave, and nonlinear attenuation of the Pump wave. A
eff
denotes the so-called effective
fiber-cross-section of the single-mode fiber
Session 5

11
It is important to notice that Stimulated Raman-Scattering performs both with co- and
counter-propagating Pump-waves. In the latter case, dP
P
/dz has to be replaced by -dP
P
/dz
in the first of the above equations.
The Raman gain spectrum g
R
(f
P
, f
P
– f
S
) of silica fibers is shown in the following figure. Its
broadband nature is a consequence of the irregular configuration of the glass-molecules.
The Raman-gain efficiency g
R
/Aeff varies considerably for different types of fibers. A
dispersion-compensating fiber (DCF) can be 8 times more efficient than a standard single-
mode fiber (SMF) because of its smaller core-diameter. The frequency dependence of all
types of fibers is almost the same as evident from the normalised gain spectra shown in the
figure. The gain peaks at a frequency shift of about 13.2 THz. The gain-bandwidth is about
6 THz if we define it as the FWHM of the dominant peak. It is an important feature of
Raman amplification that, in contrast to EDFAs, signal amplification is achieved for
arbitrary wavelengths, as long as pump signals with appropriate wavelengths f
P
are
available.

Fig. 7: Raman gain spectra as a function of frequency shift f
S
– f
P
. Left: gain efficiency g
R
/A
eff
for standard
(SMF), dispersion-shifted (DSF), and dispersion-compensating (DCF) fibers. Right: normalised gain-profiles
g
R
/g
R
(max).

If a broad-band optical spectrum consisting of pump-waves and modulated signal-channels
propagates along the optical fiber, every single spectral component may act at the same
time as Pump-wave (being attenuated) and Stokes-wave (being amplified) depending on
the relative position within the propagating spectrum [3]. The differential equation
modelling the evolution of the co-propagating (+) and counter-propagating (-) spectral
components of the optical power-density ) , ( f z S
±
is given in eq. 12. The first term on the
right of this equation simply models linear attenuation. The second and third term generate
nonlinear amplification and attenuation of the spectral component at frequency f due to
Stimulated Raman Scattering. The following term models the generation and amplification
of noise due to spontaneous Raman Scattering at frequency f. Here a temperature-
dependent term is added which increases the accuracy of our model, but is not discussed
here. Component number 5 models the conversion of light power at frequency f into noise
at lower frequencies f’’ due to Spontaneous Raman Scattering. Finally the last term is
modelling the effect of Rayleigh-backscattering: A very small fraction of the forward
(backward) propagating light is scattered backwards (forward) due to Rayleigh scattering,
thus acting as additional noise. With this Scattering term the effect of Double-Rayleigh
Backscattering is modelled, which is an important source of noise in Raman-amplified
systems.
g
R
(max)=6·10
-14
m/W
@ 1.55 µ µµ µm.
g
R
(max)=6·10
-14
m/W
@ 1.55 µ µµ µm.
Lab on Simulation of Optical Communication Systems
12
As in the case of the EDFA, the power density S(z, f) in eq. 12 can be decomposed in it’s
signal- and noise-part, thus enabling a separate evaluation of the signal amplification and
the generation of noise due to Raman amplification. Numerical algorithms are finally used
to solved the coupled set of differential equations.

( )
( ) ( )
( )
( ) ( )
( )
( ) ( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( ) ( )
4 4 3 4 4 2 1
4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 2 1
m
4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 2 1
4 4 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 2 1
m
4 4 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 2 1
3 2 1
m
m
ring Backscatte Rayleigh
Scattering Raman eous Spon to due f frequency at noise of Generation
T k f f h
f f eff
R
Scattering Raman eous Spon to due f frequency at noise of Generation
T k f f h
f f eff
R
f S of n Attenuatio SRS
f f eff
R
f S of ion Amplificat SRS
f f eff
R
n attenuatio fiber
f z S f
f z S f d
e A
f f f g
f
f
f h
f d
e
f z S
A
f f f g
hf
f z S f d f z S
A
f f f g
f
f
f z S f d f z S
A
f f f g
f z S f
dz
f z dS
B
B

±
′ ′
′ ′ − ⋅
< ′ ′
− ′ ⋅
> ′
±
< ′ ′
±
> ′
±

±
⋅ ±

(
(
¸
(

¸

′ ′
|
¹
|

\
|

+ ⋅
′ ′ −
′ ′
⋅ ′ ′
(
(
¸
(

¸


|
¹
|

\
|

+ ⋅ ′ ⋅
− ′ ′
⋅ ±

(
(
¸
(

¸

′ ′ ′ ′ ⋅
′ ′ − ′ ′

(
(
¸
(

¸

′ ′ ⋅
− ′ ′
±
⋅ =




,
,
1
1
1
,
2
1
1
1 ,
,
2
, ,
,
, ,
,
,
,
tan
/
tan
/
) ( :
) ( :
γ
α
Eq. 12
In the above equation, the upper signs hold for spectral components propagating in forward
(+z) direction, the lower signs have to be used for backward (-z) propagating components.
Bibliography
[1] N. Hanik: Optical Communication Systems. Lecture Notes at Munich University of
Technology (TUM), 2006.
[2] G.P. Agrawal: Fiber-Optic Communication Systems. Third Edition, John Wiley &
Sons, New York, 2002.
[3] M. Schneiders: Stimulierte Raman-Streuung in faseroptischen Übertragungs-
systemen. Diplomarbeit, Lehrstuhl für Hochfrequenztechnik der T.U. Dortmund,
2001.

out
E
r

in
E
r

Erbium
doped
fiber
IS

P
P
WSC IS
+
P
P
WSC

-Ing.IMPRESSUM © 2008 by Wired Communications Group Institute for Communications Engineering (LNT) Theresienstraße 90 D-80333 München Germany Phone: +49 89 23479 (Dipl. Florian Breyer) .

.................2....................................................................... 9 2......... 10 Bibliography ..................................... 4 1................................................. EDFA Principle ........... 4 1......... 12 ........................................................................... 9 2................. 4 1............................................................. Raman Amplifier ...... Physical Modeling ................................................................................................. The Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier (EDFA) ............................................. Physical Modeling ......................................................Contents Theory...1.1................. 6 2.......2........................................................................................................................................................... Amplifier Principle ..................................................................................

But the interest ceased. EDFAs work independently of the signal polarization. WSC: wavelength selective coupler. r E in IS WSC Erbium doped fiber WSC IS r E out PP+ Fig. Modulated optical signals are amplified extremely linearly. Due to the slightly different performance of EDFA’S and Raman amplifiers.1. whereas lightwave technology turned to 1.40 dB can be achieved. In the 1990’s the EDFA became a commercially available component. IS: PP+ : Pump power in forward direction. and with reasonably low noise.3 and 1. isolator.55 µm window.Lab on Simulation of Optical Communication Systems Theory In this chapter some theoretical background about Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifiers (EDFAs) and Raman Amplifiers are provided.55 µm. with negligible crosstalk from signals on other carrier wavelengths. The Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier (EDFA) The principle of doped fiber-based amplification had been demonstrated as early as the introduction of the first optical fibers in the 1960’s: rare earth ions. backward direction PP− r r E out : electrical field at output. since these early prototypes used neodymium as dopant material.55 µm. A decade later the first fiber amplifier pumped by semiconductor laser sources was realized [2]. 1. PP− : Pump power in 4 . optical amplifiers use the effect of Stimulated Emission to coherently amplify signal light. thus operating in the wavelength range around 1. 1.06 µm. An EDFA combines some important advantages for practical lightwave systems. 1: Bidirectionally pumped EDFA ( E in : electrical field at input. it can be pumped very efficiently at 980 nm and / or 1480 nm. The breakthrough for practical applicability came in 1985. Like Lasers. the two amplifiers are described in separate chapters. when David Payne and his research group at the University of Southampton demonstrated optical amplification with erbium doped fibers for 1. It operates in the 1. are excited by infrared light and thus amplify a propagating signal by stimulated emission [1]. As unavoidable perturbation some amount of broadband noise is generated due to Spontaneous Emission of light photons. 1). and amplifier gains of 30 . EDFA Principle An EDFA is a length of erbium doped single mode fiber pumped with semiconductor laser sources (see Fig. where semiconductor laser sources are available. distributed in the core of a fiber.

The erbium atoms in the ground state eventually reabsorb signal and ASE. The remaining excited atoms decay spontaneously. The excited atoms can be stimulated by photons of an incident signal with suitable wavelength to emit additional photons. Since the spontaneous lifetime there of about 10 ms is very long. Pump light propagating along the fiber is absorbed by ground state erbium atoms lifting them to the pump level. vibrations of the material structure). Energy from incident pump photons promotes electrons from the ground state to a higher energy level. 2). due to pump absorption. In the following Erbium-fiber section the light generated by spontaneous emission is amplified concurrently with the signal. counter-propagating signal and pump) or into both ends simultaneously (bidirectional pumping). if the photon energy is just equal to the energy difference between these two levels. Excited electrons relax spontaneously or stimulated. e. the density of excited states decreases exponentially with a time constant known as spontaneous lifetime. With these concepts of quantum mechanics the amplification process can be described phenomenologically. The indices NR and R mean that the respective pontaneous (Aij) transitions are nonradiative or radiative. thus degrading the signal to noise ratio. creating phonons (i. From there they decay very fast and nonradiatively to the excited level.NR 2 (excited level) W12 W21 A21. The pump power is either coupled into the input of the erbium fiber (forward pumping. If pumping stops.R W31 1 (ground level) Fig. However. the erbium ions are confined in the core around the fiber’s central axis. i. thus amplifying the signal. Spontaneous decays are either nonradiative. 2: Simplified three-level energy diagram of erbium. Optical isolators are blocking backward propagating light which would otherwise act as additional noise. The total signal gain of an EDFA thus has a maximum value at an optimum fiber length. That means. The amplification process is based on electron transitions between the energy levels of erbium. the pump signal can be attenuated below this threshold. Stimulated decays are triggered by photons whose energy agrees with the energy gap between ground and excited state. or radiative. a signal propagating along the fiber will be amplified as long as this absorption process is dominated by stimulated emission. the majority of erbium atoms are in the excited state. 3 (980 nm pump level) W13 A32. which acts as noise. 5 . the pump power remains above a specific threshold value. if the fiber is too long. The emitted photons have the same phase and polarization than the stimulating photons. copropagating signal and pump) or backward into the output of the erbium fiber (backward pumping. Therefore. (see Fig. emitting photons with statistical phase and polarization. thus generating the so-called amplified spontaneous emission (ASE).Session 5 For high efficiency. e. population inversion between ground and excited level is established. since they can be lifted directly to the excited state by photons at the signal wavelength.

thus amplifying the propagating optical signal. The rate equations can be derived from the energy levels of an erbium atom. y). 3 r r r N 1 (r ) = N dop (r ) − N 2 (r ). Fig. y. dt dN 2 = W12 N 1 − W21 N 2 − A21. this level is assumed empty (i. λ). 1 are set to zero. analytical solutions for N1 and N2 are obtained according to: r r W12 (r ) + W13 (r ) r r N 2 (r ) = ⋅ N dop (r ). Taking into account that the lifetime of erbium ions at level 3 is very short. e. The population densities Ni of the Erbium-Ions are governed by the following rate-equations: dN 1 = −W13 N 1 + W31 N 3 − W12 N 1 + W21 N 2 + A21. j ∈ [1. y. λ ) = S ( z . dt dN 3 = W13 N 1 − W31 N 3 − A32. one of the above equations is redundant. λ ) ⋅ψ I (x. as r r r r N dop (r ) = N 1 (r ) + N 2 (r ) + N 3 (r ).2. the ions leave this state almost immediately (without emitting light. The light power P(z) propagating along the erbium fiber varies with z due to absorption and emission. λ ) . dt Eq. z . Erbium-Ions assume the 2. or 3.Lab on Simulation of Optical Communication Systems 1. Eq. R N 2 + A32. 2 is characterized by a rate coefficient Aij or Wij which specifies the number of transitions per unit time and erbium atom. 1 As the total density of erbium ions is defined by the density of erbium ions Ndop due to the doping process. In this case. 6 Eq. In the steady state the time derivatives of Eq. The optical spectrum is defined as power density over wavelength S(z. and spatially over the fiber cross section (x. Physical Modeling The phenomenological description of the preceding section shows that the amplification process is based on electron transitions and signal propagation: the interaction of absorption and stimulated emission causes conversion of pump power into signal.y. e. and is distributed spectrally over frequency or wavelength. energy state. as this transition is non-radiative) and assume the metastable excited energy level 2. 2 depicts energy levels and transitions which are essentially involved in the amplification process. Energy State is very short. Aij denote the spontaneous radiative or nonradiative emission rates. 2.z. i. y. respectively. being simply the inverse of the spontaneous lifetimes. 2 r r = ( x. The spectrum of the light intensity I(x. NR N 3 .and ASE-power when the respective light waves propagate along the erbium doped fiber. R N 2 . z ) T is the location in the doped fiber core. or generating ASE noise. r r r W12 (r ) + W13 (r ) + W21 (r ) + 1 / τ 21 Eq. By spontaneous or stimulated emission of light the Erbium ions fall back to the ground state. and power propagation equations which govern the evolution of the signals along the fiber. The mathematical modeling uses rate equations of the electron transitions between the energy levels of the erbium atom.λ) over the fiber cross section can be evaluated as I ( x. As the lifetime of Erbium-Ions in the 3. Aij =1/τij. NR N 3 . 3]. N3 ≈ 0). Each transition in fig. with i. 4 . Absorbing pump-light at a wavelength of 1480 nm or 980 nm. Wij are the respective stimulated emission rates.

2. λ) over wavelength: P( z ) = ∫ S (z. 6. i. λ) in the erbium fiber is the sum of the forward. The wavelength-dependent probability of each radiative transition from level i to j in Fig. We consider now the erbium atoms in energy level i within a rectangular volume element with r cross section dA = dx·dy and length dz located at position r in the erbium fiber (see Fig. λ) = S+(z. σ12/10-25 m2 8. Measured emission. The total I light power P(z) is the integral of S(z. is the rate of transitions per atom in the wavelength interval dλ. λ )dλ . 3. e. and backward. λ ) is the normalized intensity profile. Integrating this expression over the considered wavelength range yields the total transition rate per erbium atom for time constant signal powers: r ∞ λ Wij (r ) = ∫ ⋅ σ ij (λ ) ⋅ S ( z . λ )dλ . Eq. The spectral power dP in a wavelength interval dλ received by an erbium atom is the r product of the local field intensity I (r .65 0. λ )dλ . σ21/10-25 m2 4. 5 −∞ Now we consider an erbium atom with arbitrary energy state subject to an incident optical field. The atom will carry out a transition to a higher or lower level j by absorbing or emitting a photon. propagating power spectra. 6. λ )dλ and the cross section. stimulated and spontaneous emission.(σ21(λ)) and absorption. r dP = σ ij (λ ) ⋅ I (r . Thus. 1.5 1.575 1. e. 0. i. 4). h⋅c 0 Eq.65 Fig. 1. 4.425 1. λ) + S-(z. against z-direction.425 λ/µm λ/µ λ/µm λ/µ 1. y. S(z.5 1. y. S+(z.(σ12(λ)) cross-sections for the transitions between ground level and excited level are depicted in Fig. ∞ ∫∫ψ (x. The field intensity can be regarded as constant in the vicinity of the atom. respectively. dP/(h·f) = dP·λ/(h·c). the quotient of power and photon energy. 6 The spectral power S(z. The atom can be assigned an effective aperture through which it receives energy from the field. 7 . known as absorption or emission cross section σij(λ) depending on level j being higher or lower than level i. λ). i. e. λ ) dxdy = 1 . in z-direction. λ) and S-(z. y.575 1. λ ) ⋅ψ I ( x. when the energy collected from the incident power reaches the photon energy h·f. λ) will be changed by three mechanisms of interaction with the erbium atoms when propagating in the fiber: absorption. 2. 2 is characterized by such an aperture. 3: Measured emission and absorption cross sections of Erbium.Session 5 where ψ I ( x.

λ ) ⋅ψ I ( x. in this case σij(λ) is the cross section for the respective absorption process. Of course. which is equivalent to the generation of one photon per light mode guided in the fiber. In summary they form a total active aperture Aσ ij = σ ij (λ ) ⋅ N i (r . “-“ is valid evaluating the backward propagating waves. λ ) ⋅ dA = ± S ± ( z . t ) dAdz in the volume element. It has been shown that the spontaneously generated light power per frequency of all volume elements over the fiber-cross-section at position z is equal to m·h·f = m·h·c/λ. λ ) ⋅ψ I ( x. S±(z. i. t )dxdy . (8). y. In the case of spontaneous emission. λ ) = ± 3 ⋅ g 21 ( z . The total number of atoms with energy level i is the product of the volume-element size and the corresponding population density. 8 A Considering absorption of S±(z. y. λ )dz Eq. e.R in Eq. 10 The “+” sign in Eq. λ) on the right of eq. The first term on the right of Eq. Consequently. Each atom eventually transits to a higher or lower power level j by absorbing or emitting optical power with the cross section r σij (λ). λ ) ⋅ Aσ ij = r = ± S ± ( z . light photons are emitted spontaneously due to spontaneous decays of excited erbium atoms according to A21. The corresponding power per wavelength is obtained by rescaling the above expression according to |df/dλ| = c/λ2. y. λ ) ⋅ σ ij (λ ) ⋅ N i (r . σij(λ) is the cross section for the evaluated stimulated emission process. λ) in the volume element. 4: Spectral power conversion in a volume element. λ ) ± [g 21 ( z . e. λ ) ⋅ N i (r . These photons are then amplified by stimulated emission like propagating signal light. λ ) = ±σ ij (λ ) ⋅ ∫∫ψ I ( x. λ ) − α (λ )]⋅ S ± ( z . λ ) ⋅ψ I ( x. t . 9 holds for forward propagating waves. Ni·dA·dz. the following three terms model emission and absorption of 8 . λ ) λ dz Eq. m = 2. t )dxdy ⋅ S ± ( z . λ) has to be replaced by -S±(z. summing the contributions of all possible radiative transitions leads to the differential equation d ± 2 ⋅ hc 2 S ( z . A Eq. Integrating the contributions of all volume elements of the fiber cross section gives: r dS ± ( z . t )dAdz [ ] Eq. the power density S ± ( z . y. Finally. λ ) ⋅ N i (r . λ ) = σ ij (λ ) ⋅ ∫∫ψ I ( x. 9 with the gain coefficients r g ij ( z . we have two orthogonal fundamental modes.Lab on Simulation of Optical Communication Systems S dA S+dS dz Fig. y. 7 in case of S±(z. λ ) ⋅ψ I ( x. y. λ ) ⋅ S ± ( z . In case of a standard single mode fiber. λ ) − g12 ( z . i. thus giving the expression m·h·c2/λ3. λ )dz = ± g ij ( z . 9 is related to Amplified Spontaneous Emission (ASE). λ) being amplified by stimulated emission. 1. λ ) − g13 ( z . λ ) ⋅ dA incident on the cross-section surface dA of the volume element changes by d S ± ( z .

At room temperature most molecules are in the ground level of energy E0. 2. which are now at a „forbidden“ virtual enegy level E‘. Unidirectional and bi-directional pumping are both options to operate an EDFA. boundary-conditions at both ends of the Erbium-Doped Fiber are required. 5 yields a very plausible illustration of Raman Scattering. Phase. The power-evolution of Signal and Noise in every single wavelength-‘slot‘ is governed by a Differential-Equation according to Eq. S(z. Here.and noise-part. As the investigated spectral components propagate in principle bidirectionally. 9 .and noise-characteristics of the EDFA. propagation direction. The remaining energy is in this case left in the molecule.1. Typically the wavelength-dependent input-intensity-distributions of the signals and of the pump-waves are known. 9. stimulating oscillations of the nuclei.and NoiseSpectra are first decomposed into several wavelength-sections. 6. Sophisticated iterative numerical methods are then applied to solve the Coupled System of Differential Equations. Raman Amplifier Raman amplifiers can be realized using the single-mode transmission fiber itself as amplifying medium. and Light-Polarisation of the emitted Photons are completely random. Eqns. thus generating two coupled differential equations according to eq. The first case (emitting fP) is related to Rayleigh-Scattering. 9. As it is important to distinguish signal and noise when evaluating an EDFA. the propagating light interacts with Silica-molecules which absorb and emit light photons by spontaneous or stimulated emission. After a very short time they return spontaneously either to the ground level (emitting one photon at fP). λ) is further decomposed into signal. 9 and 10 build the coupled system of differential equations that model signal amplification and noise generation along an Erbium-doped fiber. Photons of a propagating light wave at frequency fP (the so-called pump frequency) are absorbed by the molecules. now emitting a photon at frequency fS (the so-called Stokes-frequency). or to the excited energy level E1. 3. therefore Spontaneous Scattering simply attenuates the Pump-Light.Session 5 signal and pump wavelengths. the latter case (emitting fS) is denoted as Spontaneous Raman Scattering. numerical procedures have been developed to evaluate the amplification. Amplifier Principle The energy level diagram of a silica-molecule depicted in Fig. The WDM-Signal. λ) includes signal and noise at frequency f. Therefore. α(λ) finally represents conventional fiber attenuation. 2. It is important to notice that the power spectrum S(z. It cannot be solved analytically.

Lab on Simulation of Optical Communication Systems Fig. and nonlinear attenuation of the Pump wave. and both Pump. For the simple case of one discrete Pump wave amplifying another discrete Stokes wave. Fig. The frequency dependent Raman-Gain gR is effecting nonlinear amplification of the Stokes wave. absorption and Spontaneous Raman Scattering A more relevant situation is given if a propagating Stokes-Wave (frequency fS) is already present. and light-polarisation exactly with the stimulating Stokes light. the modeling coupled differentialequations are: dPP f g ( f . f − fS ) = −α ( f P ) ⋅ PP − P ⋅ R P P ⋅ PS ⋅ PP dz fS Aeff dPS g ( f . This effect is called Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS). the molecule is stimulated by the Stokes-wave to emit another Stokes photon that matches in phase.and Stokes-waves. Therefore. 5: Energy level of a silica molecule. propagation direction. After absorption of a Pump-photon. absorption and Stimulated Raman Scattering 2.2. at the expense of a nonlinearly attenuated Pump-wave. coherent amplification of Stokes light is achieved. respectively. 6: Energy level of a silica molecule. 11 αP and αS are the linear attenuation coefficients of Pump. Aeff denotes the so-called effective fiber-cross-section of the single-mode fiber 10 .and Stokes-Waves propagate through the silica-fiber.and Stokes-waves can be derived using analog steps as in case of an EDFA. f − fS ) = −α ( f S ) ⋅ PS + R P P ⋅ PP ⋅ PS dz Aeff Eq. Physical Modeling Equations governing the evolution of the light-power P of Pump.

12. dPP/dz has to be replaced by -dPP/dz in the first of the above equations. The Raman gain spectrum gR (fP. If a broad-band optical spectrum consisting of pump-waves and modulated signal-channels propagates along the optical fiber. The differential equation modelling the evolution of the co-propagating (+) and counter-propagating (-) spectral components of the optical power-density S ± ( z . but is not discussed here. The second and third term generate nonlinear amplification and attenuation of the spectral component at frequency f due to Stimulated Raman Scattering.55 µm. The gain peaks at a frequency shift of about 13. every single spectral component may act at the same time as Pump-wave (being attenuated) and Stokes-wave (being amplified) depending on the relative position within the propagating spectrum [3].Session 5 It is important to notice that Stimulated Raman-Scattering performs both with co. The following term models the generation and amplification of noise due to spontaneous Raman Scattering at frequency f. The frequency dependence of all types of fibers is almost the same as evident from the normalised gain spectra shown in the figure. The first term on the right of this equation simply models linear attenuation. The gain-bandwidth is about 6 THz if we define it as the FWHM of the dominant peak. With this Scattering term the effect of Double-Rayleigh Backscattering is modelled. f ) is given in eq. The Raman-gain efficiency gR/Aeff varies considerably for different types of fibers. Its broadband nature is a consequence of the irregular configuration of the glass-molecules. dispersion-shifted (DSF). in contrast to EDFAs. as long as pump signals with appropriate wavelengths fP are available. 7: Raman gain spectra as a function of frequency shift fS – fP. Right: normalised gain-profiles gR/gR(max). and dispersion-compensating (DCF) fibers.and counter-propagating Pump-waves. Fig. which is an important source of noise in Raman-amplified systems. fP – fS) of silica fibers is shown in the following figure. gR(max)=6·10-14 m/W @ 1. Left: gain efficiency gR/Aeff for standard (SMF). A dispersion-compensating fiber (DCF) can be 8 times more efficient than a standard singlemode fiber (SMF) because of its smaller core-diameter. thus acting as additional noise. 11 .2 THz. Component number 5 models the conversion of light power at frequency f into noise at lower frequencies f’’ due to Spontaneous Raman Scattering. It is an important feature of Raman amplification that. Here a temperaturedependent term is added which increases the accuracy of our model. Finally the last term is modelling the effect of Rayleigh-backscattering: A very small fraction of the forward (backward) propagating light is scattered backwards (forward) due to Rayleigh scattering. signal amplification is achieved for arbitrary wavelengths. In the latter case.

the upper signs hold for spectral components propagating in forward (+z) direction.P. f ) B f ′′ Aeff −1   e  f ′′< f  14444444444 4444444444  2 3 Generation of noise at frequency f ′′ due to Spon tan eous Raman Scattering ± γ ( f ) ⋅ S m (z. Hanik: Optical Communication Systems. Diplomarbeit. the lower signs have to be used for backward (-z) propagating components. 12 In the above equation. 12 . f ′ − f ) ± ∫ R ⋅ S ( z .U. Lecture Notes at Munich University of Technology (TUM). Lehrstuhl für Hochfrequenztechnik der T. John Wiley & Sons. Numerical algorithms are finally used to solved the coupled set of differential equations. G.r WSC IS− P+ EPErbium in out doped fiber Lab on Simulation of Optical Communication Systems As in the case of the EDFA. f ′)df ′ ⋅ S ± ( z . thus enabling a separate evaluation of the signal amplification and the generation of noise due to Raman amplification. Bibliography [1] [2] [3] N.and noise-part. f − f ′′)  1   ± m  ∫ 2hf ′′ ⋅ ⋅ 1 + h⋅( f − f ′′ ) / k T df ′′ ⋅ S ( z . f) in eq. f ′ − f ) 1   ±  ∫ 2hf ⋅ R ⋅ S ( z . f ′′)df ′′ ⋅ S ± ( z . f ) 123 fiber − attenuatio n   g ( f ′. f ) A  f ′> f  4444eff4 444444  1 42 3 SRS : Amplificat ion of S ( f )   f ′′ g R ( f . 2006. M. New York. Agrawal: Fiber-Optic Communication Systems. f − f ′′) m ∫ ⋅ S ( z . 12 can be decomposed in it’s signal. f ′) ⋅ 1 + h⋅( f ′− f ) / k T  df ′  B A −1  e  f ′> f  444444eff 4444 44444444444   1 4 2 3 Generation of noise at frequency f due to Spon tan eous Raman Scattering  f g R ( f . dS ± ( z . f ) 14 244 4 3 Rayleigh − Backscattering Eq. f ) = dz m α ( f ) ⋅ S ± (z. Third Edition. Schneiders: Stimulierte Raman-Streuung in faseroptischen Übertragungssystemen. Dortmund. f ) Aeff  f ′′< f f   44444424444443  1 SRS : Attenuatio n of S ( f )   g ( f ′. the power density S(z. 2002. 2001.