16 November 2004 Intra-cavity polarization switching in optical fiber lasers
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Abstract
Optical fiber laser sources with switching capabilities are of interest in applications such as WDM fiber communications systems and optical fiber sensors. In particular, a polarization-switched fiber laser would be a suitable light source for optical fiber sensors linked through an optical bridge that could lead to the development of compact and low noise sensing configurations. We have studied the performance of a fiber laser in which polarization switching is achieved through intra-cavity devices. As a first approach, we have used bulk optical components within the laser cavity, and switching between two orthogonal polarization states is achieved by adjusting the coupling between the polarization modes and by independently varying the losses for each mode. An all-fiber version of the proposed laser configuration was realized using an intra-cavity electro-optic polarization switch. Upon comparing the performance of both configurations we have evaluated the effects of intra-cavity losses and length of the gain medium on switching speed of the fiber laser. Whereas only low switching frequencies (60 Hz) are attained with the first configuration, the all-fiber arrangement yields switching frequencies limited by the relaxation oscillations of the fiber laser. Thus, we demonstrate a simple arrangement for a polarization switched fiber laser using commercially available optical fiber devices.
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Juan Hernández-Cordero, Líber A. Sosa-Martínez, Félix Núñez-Orozco, "Intra-cavity polarization switching in optical fiber lasers", Proc. SPIE 5579, Photonics North 2004: Photonic Applications in Telecommunications, Sensors, Software, and Lasers, (16 November 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.567554; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.567554
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