We describe a methodology to maximize slow-light pulse delay subject to a constraint on the allowable pulse distortion. We show that optimizing over a larger number of physical variables can increase the distortion-constrained delay. We demonstrate these concepts by comparing the optimum slow-light pulse delay achievable using a single Lorentzian gain line with that achievable using a pair of closely-spaced gain lines. We predict that distortion management using a gain doublet can provide approximately a factor of 2 increase in slow-light pulse delay as compared with the optimum single-line delay. Experimental results employing Brillouin gain in optical fiber confirm our theoretical predictions.
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