Abstract

The nature of the magneto-optic Kerr effect in a planar dielectric waveguide geometry has been investigated by calculation of the Jones matrix for a planar waveguide structure with a gyrotropic magnetic material as one wall. The intensity of the component of the field that is in the polarization state orthogonal to the input was calculated as a function of length of the gyrotropic material and input polarization state. The degree of polarization rotation depends on the relative orientation of the magnetization in the magnetic material and the direction of propagation. It is found that there exists an optimal waveguide length and input polarization at which the output signal is maximized and that a significant enhancement in polarization rotation is available with respect to free-space reflection. These results indicate that a magnetic-film-bounded planar waveguide can be used for device applications such as magnetic field sensors or magneto-optic modulators.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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