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Semiconductor optical amplifier suitable for coarse WDM communications and light amplification method

Image Number 18 for United States Patent #7167301.

An active layer contains quantum structures. The active layer amplifies light propagating therein while current is injected therein. Electrodes are provided for sections of the active layer sectionalized along a light propagation direction. The electrodes inject different currents into the sections. Current is supplied to the electrodes in such a manner that a first current density is set to one section of the active layer and a second current density is set to another section. The first current density is lower than that at a cross point and the second current density is higher than that at the cross point. The cross point is a cross point between gain coefficient curves at least two different transition wavelengths of the quantum structures. The curves are drawn in a graph showing a relation between a density of current injected into the active layer and a gain coefficient of the active layer.

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