Booster Optical Amplifiers (BOAs), 1050 nm

  • Polarization Dependent Booster Optical Amplifiers (BOAs)
  • SM or PM Fiber Pigtailed Butterfly Package
  • 1050 nm Operating Wavelength


High-Power BOA with SM Fiber and FC/APC Connectors

FC/APC Connectors


BOA with PM Fiber and FC/APC Connectors, Closeup of Butterfly Package Shown

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  • Boosting Laser Transmitters
  • Amplifying Widely Tunable Lasers
  • 1064 nm Optical Preamplifier
  • Amplifying Polarized Signals
The center wavelength of a BOA can be readily tailored for specific applications. It is quite common to adjust the BOA wavelength spectrum to match the specific laser source. Please contact us if you have custom wavelength requirements for pilot-projects or OEM applications.
Internal Diagram
Click to Enlarge
When current is applied across the ridge waveguide, excited state electrons are stimulated by input light, leading to photon replication and signal gain.


  • Polarization Dependent: Amplifies One Polarization State
  • 1.5 m Long, SM or PM Fiber Pigtails with FC/APC Connectors
  • Small Signal Gain: 21 dB or 28 dB (Typical)
  • Saturation Output Power: 9 dBm or 17 dBm (Typical)
  • 3 dB Bandwidth: 50 nm or 85 nm (Typical)
  • Each End Face of the Semiconductor is AR Coated (R < 0.1%) to Prevent Lasing

Booster Optical Amplifiers (BOAs) are single-pass, traveling-wave amplifiers that perform well with both monochromatic and multi-wavelength signals. Since BOAs only amplify one state of polarization, they are best suited for applications where the input polarization of the light is known. Each BOA consists of a highly efficient GaAs/InGaAs Quantum Well (QW) layer structure, which is designed for amplifying polarized optical signals in the 1050 nm band and is also an ideal gain medium for implementing wide-bandwidth tunable lasers.

As seen in the schematic to the right, the input and output of the amplifier are coupled to the active layer of the ridge waveguide on the optical amplifier chip. The device is contained in a standard 14-pin butterfly package, with either single mode or polarization-maintaining fiber pigtails that are terminated with FC/APC connectors. The BOA1137P and BOA1050P use polarization-maintaining PM980-XP fiber with the connector key aligned to the slow axis, while the BOA1137S and BOA1050S use non-polarization-maintaining HI1060 fiber. An integrated thermoelectric cooler (TEC) and thermistor allow these BOAs to be temperature controlled, thus stabilizing the gain and the spectrum.

For additional details concerning the construction and operating parameters of our BOAs, please see the Optical Amplifiers tab.

Recommended Driver
The CLD1015 butterfly LD/TEC controller is recommended to control these amplifiers. This LD/TEC controller and mount combination offers full control via a touch screen. When operating these optical amplifiers with the CLD1015, the orientation for type 1 pin configurations should be used.

ASE Center Wavelength
The center wavelength (CWL) of the amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) spectrum in broadband semiconductor devices, such as optical amplifiers, may show variation between lots. Please refer to the blue icons (info) below for the CWL tolerances of each particular model. For applications in which a specific ASE center wavelength is a critical concern, please contact Tech Support for information on the CWL of currently available lots.

Item #a Info Operating
ASE Center
Operating Current
3 dB Bandwidth Saturation Output
Power (@ -3 dB)c,d
Small Signal Gain
(@ Pin = -20 dBm)c,d
Noise Figurec,d Fiber Type
BOA1137S info 1050 nm 1050 nm 300 mA 50 nm 9 dBm 21 dB 11 dB HI1060
BOA1137P info PM980-XP
BOA1050S info 1040 nmb 600 mA 85 nm 17 dBm 28 dB 7.5 dB HI1060
BOA1050P info PM980-XP
  • All specifications are typical unless otherwise noted.
  • To guarantee a higher saturated output power of 17 dBm, the typical center ASE wavelength will be shorter than the operating wavelength of 1050 nm.
  • Measured at 1054.7 nm
  • Measured at the Operating Current
Comparison of a SOA to a standard Fabry-Perot Laser Diode

Booster optical amplifiers (BOAs) and semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) are single-pass, traveling-wave amplifiers that perform well with both monochromatic and multi-wavelength signals. Since BOAs only amplify one state of polarization, they are best suited for applications where the input polarization of the light is known. For applications where the input polarization is unknown or fluctuates, a Semiconductor Optical Amplifier (SOA) is required. However, the gain, noise, bandwidth, and saturation power specifications of a BOA are superior to that of a SOA because of the design features that make the SOA polarization insensitive.

BOAs and SOAs are similar in design to Fabry-Perot Laser Diodes, the difference being that Fabry-Perot laser diodes have reflective coatings on both end faces of the semiconductor chip. The optical feedback from the reflective end faces establishes a cavity in which lasing can occur. SOAs and BOAs have an anti-reflection (AR) coating on both end faces of the semiconductor chip. The AR coatings limit the optical feedback into the chip so that lasing does not occur.

As is typical for all amplifiers, BOAs/SOAs operate in two regimes: a linear, flat, constant gain regime and a non-linear, saturated output regime. When used to amplify a modulated signal, the linear regime is typically used to eliminate pattern-dependent distortion, multi-channel cross-talk, and transient response issues common to EDFAs. The non-linear regime is used to take advantage of the highly non-linear attributes of the semiconductor gain medium (cross-gain modulation, cross phase modulation) to perform wavelength conversion, optical 3R regeneration, header recognition, and other high-speed optical signal processing functions.

For a continuous wave input signal, the amount of power that can be produced by the amplifier is determined by the saturation output power (Psat) parameter. Psat is defined as the output power at which the small-signal gain has been compressed by 3 dB. The maximum amount of CW power that can be extracted is approximately 3 dB higher than the saturation power.

SOA Linear vs Non-linear Regimes

Posted Comments:
Erik Brekke  (posted 2024-04-01 10:26:58.467)
I am looking into amplifying a laser at 1024 nm. I currently have 50 mW of power, and am hoping to get over 300 mW. Is the maximum output power with your amplifiers limited to around 100 mW. Anything that might give higher outputs?
jdelia  (posted 2024-04-04 10:38:50.0)
Thank you for contacting Thorlabs. We unfortunately do not currently offer any catalog items that could provide a higher power at this wavelength. I have reached out to you directly to discuss your application.
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Booster Optical Amplifiers

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+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
BOA1137S Support Documentation
BOA1137SBooster Optical Amplifier, 1050 nm, 9 dBm, Butterfly Package, SM, FC/APC
BOA1137P Support Documentation
BOA1137PBooster Optical Amplifier, 1050 nm, 9 dBm, Butterfly Package, PM, FC/APC
BOA1050S Support Documentation
BOA1050SBooster Optical Amplifier, 1050 nm, 17 dBm, Butterfly Package, SM, FC/APC
BOA1050P Support Documentation
BOA1050PBooster Optical Amplifier, 1050 nm, 17 dBm, Butterfly Package, PM, FC/APC