Multi-mode interference (MMI) couplers (waveguides) are widely studied and developed as key components of photonic integrated circuits, including power coupler/dividers, and others. Furthermore, another possibility utilizing MMI has been investigated on active devices so far. Owing to the wider area of the multi-mode waveguide section compared with that of the regular single-mode waveguide, MMI may result in higher performance (high power, low power consumption, and others) rather than conventional active devices while maintaining regular single-mode output. Thus, active multi-mode interferometer (active-MMI) devices, including laser diodes (LDs), super-luminescent light emitting diodes (SLEDs), and semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) have been studied. Moreover, they have been also exploited to bi-stable LDs and single wavelength emitters, and others using the interference inside the MMI section. In this paper, we review and summarize the recent progress in active MMI devices. We provide proof of MMI phenomena in active waveguides and discuss the results.
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