The gain and phase recovery dynamics of quantum-dot (QD) semiconductor optical amplifiers are calculated, including all the optical transitions involved in successive carrier recovery processes. The carrier recovery dynamics of inhomogeneously broadened QDs is simulated by solving 1088 coupled rate equations. The respective contributions of QD states and quantum-well carrier reservoirs to the gain and phase changes are identified both temporally and spectrally. We show that the slow phase recovery component of the QD ground state is induced by the slow carrier dynamics of the carrier reservoir due to a slowly varying line shape function of the refractive index change.

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