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What is EDFA Amplifier?

 EDFA stands for Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier.
 Where, Erbium is a chemical element of lanthanide series in periodic table.
 Erbium symbol is Er and atomic number is 68.
 Erbium looks like a silvery-white solid metal when artificially isolated.
 Erbium's principal uses involve its pink-colored Er
ions, which have optical fluorescent
properties particularly useful in certain laser applications.
 Erbium-doped glasses or crystals can be used as optical amplification media, where erbium (III)
ions are optically pumped at around 980 nm or 1480 nm and then radiate light at 1530 nm in
stimulated emission.
 This process results in an unusually mechanically simple laser optical amplifier for signals
transmitted by fiber optics.
 This is known as Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier or simply EDFA.
Erbium doped fiber: Profile

Basic EDFA overview
 EDFA convert optical signal to another amplified optical signal without using any
electrical domain.

Fig: Basic Block diagram of EDFA
Working Principle of EDFA

Fig: Energy level transferring block
 The 980 nm pump laser excites erbium ions from lower energy level 1 into a higher
energy level 3.
 From level 3 the erbium ions goes to level 2.
 From level 2 the erbium ion into x which 1550nm signal which jumps back to lower level
 In this there is emission of 1550nm photon.
 This process is known a stimulated emission.
 EDFA has an amplification window for optical wave analysis for which the optical fiber
has useable gain.
 This wavelength range is gain able by a properties of dopained ion, the glass structure of
optical fiber and the wavelength and power of pump laser.
Schematic diagram of EDFA

Gain Spectrum for EDFA
 Since the gain spectrum of erbium resembles a 3-level atom it is possible to model the
gain properties using this approach.
 Several different wavelength bands have been designated for wavelength division
multiplexing and EDFAs have been designed to operate in these bands.
 The divisions have been designated as:
 S-Band1480-1520nm
 C-Band1521-1560 nm
 L-Band 1561-1620nm

Optical Gain of EDFA
 Rare earth doped optical amplifiers work much like a laser.
 The primary difference is that they do not have a resonator.
 Amplification occurs primarily through the stimulated mission process.
 The medium is pumped until a population inversion state is achieved. Pump powers are
typically several 20-250 mW. An isolator is used to reduce reflections at the input to the
amplifier. A narrow band optical filter is used to reduce transmission of amplified
spontaneous emission frequency components.
 The resultant optical gain depends both on the optical frequency and the local beam
intensity within the amplifier section.
Gain and noise figure of EDFA (Sample)

Fig: A Characteristic plot of gain and noise figure for an erbium doped fiber
amplifier pumped ~30 mW at 980 nm.
EDFA Gain Equalization
 Gain equalization can be accomplished in several ways:
 Thin film filters
 Long period fiber gratings
 Chirped fiber Bragg gratings

Gain Flattering

Characteristics of EDFAs: (Advantages)
 High power transfer efficiency from pump to signal power (> 50%).
 Wide spectral band amplification with relative flat gain (>20dB) – useful for WDM
 Saturation output> 1mW (10 to 25 dBm).
 Gain-time constant long (>100 msec) to overcome patterning effects and inter-
modulation distortions( low noise).
 Large dynamic range.
 Low noise figure.
 Polarization independent.
 Suitable for long-haul applications.
Disadvantages of EDFAs:
 Relatively large devices (km lengths of fiber) – not easily integrated with other devices.
 ASE – amplified spontaneous emission. There is always some output even with no signal
input due to some excitation of ions in the fiber – spontaneous noise.
 Cross-talk effects.
 Gain saturation effects.
Applications of EDFA
 EDFA can be used as:
 Power amplifiers
 In‐line amplifiers,
 As well as pre‐amplifiers.

The mechanism behind Raman Amplifier
 The mechanism behind the Raman amplification is Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS).
 SRS is a non linear effect of optical fiber.
 For the SRS the optical power must b greater than the threshold to happen at least
minimum 500mW. This is a codition.
 Now we will look at how it actually happens.
 The photon of pump beam ωp is scattered by molecules in the fiber medium and
become the lower energy photon ωs .
 The valance of the energy becomes vibration and dissipated in the fiber medium.
 For instance optical power this non linear effect can transfer most of the pump power
ωp into signal power ωs.

Raman Gain Coefficient
 The frequency difference between ωp and ωs has to match a relationship in order to
fully use of this non linear effect.
 This is shown here by using Raman gain coefficient graph.

Raman Amplifier Types
 There are basically two types of Raman amplifiers as given here:
 Distributed Raman Amplifier (DRA) uses the transmission fiber itself as the medium,
into which a backward pump is injected.
 Discrete (Lumped) Raman Amplifier (RA) The amplifier consists of a coil of dedicated
fiber together with pumps.

Real World Raman Amplifier Application
 For getting the full benefits of amplification EDFA and Raman amplifiers as used
 Distributed amplifier amplifies the signal in a backward direction.
 EDFA amplifier amplifies the signal in a forward direction.
 Here we have shown the figure of signal levels and how it changed.

Properties of Raman Amplifiers:
 The peak resonance in silica fibers occurs about 13THz from the pump wavelength. At
1550nm this corresponds to a shift of about 100 nm.
 As indicated power is transferred from shorter wavelengths to longer wavelengths.
 Coupling with the pump wavelength can be accomplished either in the forward or
counter propagating direction.
 Power is coupled from the pump only if the signal channel is sending a 1 bit.

Pump Arrangement to Extend the Range for St. Raman Amplification:
 An array of laser diodes can be used to provide the Raman pump.
 The beams are combined and then coupled to the transmission fiber.
 The pump beams can counter propagate to the direction of the signal beams.

Difficulties with Raman Amplifiers
 The Pump and amplified signals are at different wavelengths. Therefore the signal and
the pump pulses will separate due to dispersion (waveguide dispersion) after a certain
propagation distance.
 A 1 psec pump pulse at 600nm separates from a 1 psec Stokes pulse in~30 cm.
 A second problem is that the pump power decreases along the fiber length due to linear
absorption and scattering – Raman gain is greater at the input end.
 A final problem results from amplifying spontaneous Raman photons. This occurs when
the pump power is increased to offset attenuation losses and spontaneous Raman
photons are coupled into the guided mode all along the length of the fiber. This
increases noise.

A discrimination between EDFA and RA after a long brief.

Combined EDFA and RA
 With only an EDFA at transmit end the optical power level decreases over the fiber
 With an EDFA and Raman the minimum optical power level occurs toward the middle,
not the end of the end of the fiber.

Application of Raman Amplifier
 Raman Amplifiers can be used as:
 Pre‐amplifiers
 Power amplifiers
 Distributed amplifiers in a number of digital and analogical transmission experim

Semiconductor Amplifier
 An electrical current passed through the device that excites the electrons in the active
 When photon(light) travel through the active region it can cause these electron to lose
some of their extra energy in the form of more photons that match the wavelength of
the initial ones.
 Therefore, an optical signal passing through the active region is amplified and is said to
have experienced “gain”.
 Both edges of the SOA are designed to have very low reflectivity so that there are no
unwanted reflections of the signal within the semiconductor itself.
 This is the main difference from regular laser that have reflective facets in order to build
up the intensity of light within the semiconductor material.

SOA: Amplification Process
 Semiconductor have valance and conduction band.
 At thermal equilibrium valance band has higher population.
 Under population inversion condition conduction band will have higher population.
 Population inversion is achieved by forward biasing the p-n junction.

SOA Design

Characteristics of SOA:
 Polarization dependent – require polarization maintaining fiber.
 Relatively high gain ~20 dB.
 Output saturation power 5-10 dBm.
 Large BW.
 Can operate at 800,1300,and 1500nm wavelength regions.
 Compact and easily integrated with other devices
 Can be integrated into arrays
 High noise figure and cross-talk levels due to nonlinear phenomenon such as 4-wave
mixing. This feature restricts the use of SOAs.
 Limited in operation below 10Gb/s. (Higher rates are possible with lower gain.)
SOA Vs. Semiconductor Laser
 Both are similar and in principle and construction.
 Essentially Fabry-Perot cavities, with amplification achieved by external pumping.
 The key of SOA is to preventing self-oscillations gathering laser output.
 SOAs is electrically pumped by injected current.
SOA Applications
 Power booster.
 In-line amplifier.
 Detector preamplifier.
 Optical switching element.
 Wavelength converter.
Erbium‐Doped Fiber Amplifier EDFA
 High gain (40–50 dB),
 Low noise (3–5 dB),
 Low polarization sensitivity,
 EDFAs are fully compatible with the rest of the fiber optic transmission link.
 Large size,
 High pump power consumption (efficiency ‐ 10dB/1mW).
Raman Amplifier (RA)
 Low noise (3–5 dB).
 Wide gain bandwidth (up to 10 nm).
 Distributed amplification within the transmission fiber.
 Low gain (10 dB).
 Requirement of high pump power.
Semiconductor Optical Amplifier
 Small size.
 Transmission bidirectional.
 Smaller output power then EDFA.
 Less expensive then EDFA.
 Lower gain (20–30 dB) then EDFA.
 Higher noise (7–12 dB) then EDFA.
 Polarization dependence.
 High nonlinearity.
Optical Amplifier: Comparison