Superluminescence is the same as amplified spontaneous emission: the emission of luminescence which experiences significant optical gain within the emitting device, and therefore can be relatively intense. Due to the wavelength-dependent gain (with a finite gain bandwidth), the optical spectrum of the emitted light is different in shape from the spectrum of the luminescence, and the bandwidth is usually smaller.
Superluminescence is often used for generating light with a broad bandwidth, e.g. in superluminescent diodes. Such light sources are called superluminescent sources or ASE sources. Typical examples are semiconductor optical amplifiers (then called superluminescent diodes) and fiber amplifiers, both operated without a signal input.
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See also: superluminescent sources, superluminescent diodes, amplified spontaneous emission, stimulated emission, luminescence, superfluorescence
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