We have studied a method to widen the spectrum of optical pulses that pass through an InGaAsP waveguide for application to broadband optical communication. In particular, we have investigated the competitive effect between spectral broadening arising from nonlinear refraction (optical Kerr effect) and shrinking due to two photon absorption in the InGaAsP waveguide with χ(3) nonlinearity. The shrunk spectrum recovers broadening by the enhancement effect of the nonlinear refractive index near the bandgap of InGaAsP with a bandgap wavelength of 1490 nm. The broadened spectral width at around 1525 nm (196.7 THz) becomes 10.7 times wider than that at around 1560 nm (192.3 THz) without the enhancement effect, where amplified optical pulses with a pulse width of ∼ 2 ps and a peak power of 10 W propagate through a 1-cm-long InGaAsP waveguide with a cross-section of 4 (μm)2.
The detection of environmental gases, 12CO2, 13CO2, and CH4, using near-infrared semiconductor lasers with a short laser path length is studied by means of wavelength-modulation spectroscopy. The developed system is compact and has high sensitivity enough to detect the absorption peaks of isotopic 13CO2 of a 3-% CO2 gas at 2 μm with a path length of 2.4 m, where its peak size is two orders of magnitude smaller than that of the ordinary 12CO2 peaks. In addition, the detection of 12CO2 peaks of a 385-ppm (0.0385-%) CO2 gas in the air is made at 2 μm with a path length of 1.4 m. Furthermore, in pursuing the detection of an ancient environmental CH4 gas confined to a bubble in ice at the polar regions, measurements of the absorption spectrum for a trace gas of CH4 in a small area are attempted. For a 100-% CH4 gas trapped in a ∼ 1 mm3 glass container, the absorption peaks of CH4 are obtained at 1.65 μm with a path length of 3 mm, and also the gas pressure is extrapolated from the measured data.