The refractive index dynamics of an InAs/InGaAs/GaAs dots-in-a-well semiconductor optical amplifier is calculated and compared with experimental results. The fast and slow recovery timescales together with the behaviour with increasing injection are reproduced and explained in terms of the density of carriers available in upper quantum dot and continuum states. Also, a Coulomb-mediated shift of the dot susceptibility is suggested as responsible for the fast recovery of the phase.

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