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L-Band Booster Optical Amplifiers (BOAs), 1590 - 1625 nm

  • Polarization-Dependent Booster Optical Amplifiers
  • SM or PM Fiber-Pigtailed Butterfly Package
  • L-Band and Super L-Band BOAs Available


FC/APC Connectors

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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
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When current is applied across the ridge waveguide, excited state electrons are stimulated by input light, leading to photon replication and signal gain.


  • L-Band and Super L-Band
  • Polarization Maintaining: Amplifies Only One Polarization State
  • Available with Either SM or PM Fiber Pigtails (1.5 m), 2.5 dB Loss at Each End of Chip
  • FC/APC Connectors
  • High Saturation Power, High Efficiency
  • 3 dB Bandwidth: 80 nm or 90 nm (Typical)
  • AR-Coated End Faces on Chip (R < 0.1%)
  • Typical Applications: Boosting Laser Transmitters, Compensating for Transmit MUX/DeMUX Insertion Loss, Optical Shutter

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. 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.

The BOA consists of a highly efficient InP/InGaAsP Multiple Quantum Well (MQW) layer structure. As seen in the schematic to the right, the input and output of the amplifier is coupled to the reliable ridge waveguide on the optical amplifier chip. Losses typically range from 1.5 to 2.5 dB for the fiber-to-chip and chip-to-fiber coupling (each). These coupling losses affect the total gain, noise figure (NF), and saturation power (Psat). While the gain produced by the amplifier exceeds that of the losses, these losses remain an important factor in determining the device's performance. For instance a 1 dB drop in input coupling efficiency increases the noise figure by 1 dB. Alternatively, a 1 dB drop in output coupling decreases the saturation power by 1 dB.

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Our BOA1080P and BOA1082P optical amplifiers are also available in the S9FC1080P and S9FC1082P benchtop optical amplifiers, respectively.

The device is contained in a standard 14-pin butterfly package with either SMF or PMF pigtails that are terminated with FC/APC connectors. The connector key is aligned to the slow axis on all PMF pigtailed models. Optional polarization-maintaining isolators at the input, output, or both input/output are also available (specifications may vary with different configurations). Please contact Tech Support to order such a device.

Driver Option
The CLD1015 butterfly LD/TEC controller is one possible controller for these amplifiers. The LD/TEC controller and mount combination offers full control via a touch screen. When operating the optical amplifiers on this page with the CLD1015, the orientation for type 1 pin configurations should be used.

Center Wavelength Note
The center wavelength (CWL) of the ASE spectrum in broadband semiconductor devices such as optical amplifiers may show variation between lots. Please refer to the Specs tab 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 Center Wavelength 3 dB Bandwidth Saturated Output
Power (@ -3 dB)
Small Signal Gain
(@ Pin = -20 dBm)
Noise Figure
BOA1080S and BOA1080P 1590 nm Typical 90 nm Typical 15 dBm Typical 26 dB Typical 7.0 dB Typical
BOA1082S and BOA1082P 1625 nm Typical 80 nm Typical 13 dBm Typical 18 dB Typical 8.5 dB Typical
  • For complete specifications, please view the Specs and Graphs tabs.
Item # Symbol BOA1080S and BOA1080P BOA1082S and BOA1082P
Min Typical Max Min Typical Max
Operating Current IOP - 600 mA 750 mA - 600 mA 750 mA
Center Wavelength λC 1570 nm 1590 nm 1610 nm 1600 nm 1625 nm 1650 nm
Optical 3 dB Bandwidth BW 80 nm 90 nm - 70 nm 80 nm -
Saturation Output Powera (@ -3 dB) PSAT 12 dBm 15 dBm - 10 dBm 13 dBm -
Small Signal Gain (@ Pin = -20 dBm, Typical λC) G 23 dB 26 dB - 14 dB 18 dB -
Gain Ripple (RMS) @ IOP δG - 0.05 dB 0.2 dB - 0.05 dB 0.3 dB
Noise Figure NF - 7.0 dB 9.0 dB - 8.5 dB 9.5 dB
Forward Voltage VF - 1.5 V 2.0 V - 1.5 V 2.0 V
Chip Length - - 1.5 mm - - 1.5 mm -
Waveguide Refractive Index - - 3.2 - - 3.2 -
TEC Operation (Typical/Max @ TCASE = 25/70 °C)
TEC Current ITEC - 0.12 A 1.5 A - 0.12 A 1.5 A
TEC Voltage VTEC - 0.25 V 4.0 V - 0.25 V 4.0 V
Thermistor Resistance RTH - 10 kΩ - - 10 kΩ -
  • The maximum amount of CW power that can be extracted is approximately 3 dB higher than the saturation power. Please see the Optical Amplifiers tab for more information.

1050 nm BOA Pin Out

Mechanical Drawing and Pin Assignments

Note: All plots illustrate typical performance, and individual units may have slightly different performance, within the parameters outlined on the Specs tab.

BOA1080S and BOA1080P Graphs

The gain vs. output power plot and the amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) spectrum plot for the BOA1080S and BOA1080P were measured with an input wavelength of 1590 nm and an operating current of 600 mA.

BOA1082S and BOA1082P Graphs

The gain vs. output power plot and the amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) spectrum plot for the BOA1082S and BOA1082P were measured with in an input wavelength of 1620 nm and an operating current of 600 mA.

Comparison of a SOA to a standard Fabry-Perot Laser Diode

Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers (SOAs and BOAs) 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 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, SOA/BOAs 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 CW 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 verse Non-linear Regimes

Posted Comments:
user  (posted 2018-03-29 15:49:21.37)
Please advise the gain recovery time for BOA1080P. We are facing some pattern dependent distortions (output pulse amplitude and phase) for 5GHz rep rate input 1572nm laser pulse signals. However, this effect disappears at lower rep rates 5/2, 5/4GHz. Thanks.
YLohia  (posted 2018-04-12 08:38:42.0)
Response from Yashasvi at Thorlabs USA: Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. The recovery times have been measured to be around 300-500 ps for a similar devices (SOAs). Please note that distortions will be seen if you are operating in the saturated regime of the amplifier. To ensure that you are in the linear regime, you should operate with an output power no higher than the specified saturation power minus 6 dB.
chunghsinyang  (posted 2016-04-11 12:49:42.283)
Dear sir, Can the wavelength be extend to be ~ 1700 nm for amplification? Best regards C.H. Yang
besembeson  (posted 2016-04-13 08:54:43.0)
Response from Bweh at Thorlabs USA: You would still have some amplification at 1700nm with the BOA1082P though it would be a few to several dB less compared to the peak wavelength as could be seen in the Amplified Spontaneous Emission plots that mimics the gain. To increase your gain at 1700nm (since we don't have one with ASE peak at that wavelength), we could hand select one that has an ASE peak close to 1650nm. I will contact you.
kontrol2359  (posted 2015-04-24 06:52:13.323)
I wanted to ask what would the extinction ratio of these booster amplifiers be at zero current (i.e. used as a switch)? I have got a low power frequency swept CW laser, obviously I could have a switch first and then send the pulse through the amplifier. However, it would be more economical if I could use the same device for both purposes.
jlow  (posted 2015-04-28 04:11:58.0)
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: We do not specify an extinction ratio (On/Off ratio at low seed power) since we do not explicitly test these for use as a switch. However, this should be in the 60dB - 70dB range based on the specs for BOA1004PXS.
joao.ferreira  (posted 2015-03-26 07:30:52.68)
Dear Madam or Sir We are using BOA1080S optical amplifier and would appreciate some additional information. 1. Application note, if available. 2. The datasheets of BOA1080S and BOA1080P both describe the devices as "polarization-maintaining Booster Optical Amplifier". Since only the P model has PM fiber, what is the meaning of this statement? Is there a polarizing optical isolator inside the devices? 3. Is it possible to use BOA1080S as a bidirectional amplifier? Looking forward to hear from you. Best regards, Joao Ferreira
jlow  (posted 2015-03-26 03:01:28.0)
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: We do not have an app. note for the BOA but we are available to answer your questions about our products. You can contact us directly at about this. The BOA amplifies one polarization state only whereas the SOA amplifies both polarization state. In a BOA, the TE polarization is amplified (or absorbed with no applied current) whereas the TM polarization pass through. The BOA1080S does have SM fiber on both input and output. We offer this because some users do want SM fiber on the unit (e.g. if one already uses a polarization controller in the setup). The BOA1080 is bidirectional since there's no internal isolator. However, we only test the BOA in the direction specified on the package so there might be a very slight performance difference in the reverse direction. On some of the BOA's we make, there's an internal isolator so those are not bidirectional.

L-Band BOAs

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
BOA1080S Support Documentation
BOA1080SL-Band Booster Optical Amplifier, CWL=1590 nm (Typ.), Butterfly Pkg, SMF, FC/APC
BOA1080P Support Documentation
BOA1080PL-Band Booster Optical Amplifier, CWL=1590 nm (Typ.), Butterfly Pkg, PMF, FC/APC

Super L-Band BOAs

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
BOA1082S Support Documentation
BOA1082SSuper L-Band Booster Opt. Amp., CWL=1625 nm (Typ.), Butterfly Pkg, SMF, FC/APC
BOA1082P Support Documentation
BOA1082PSuper L-Band Booster Opt. Amp., CWL=1625 nm (Typ.), Butterfly Pkg, PMF, FC/APC
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