We have theoretically and experimentally investigated an optical fiber with circular polarization modes on one end and linear polarization modes on the other end. We call this fiber a polarization-transforming fiber because the local modes, or polarization states they represent, are converted from linear to circular, and visa versa, in the fiber. We have developed and implemented a postdraw process for making polarization-transforming fiber samples 30 mm long with losses less than 1 dB and a polarization-mode conversion from circular to linear greater than 20 dB. Also, we have modeled and measured the dependence on wavelength and temperature of polarization-transforming fiber samples. The measured normalized wavelength dependence of a sample fiber 30 mm long was approximately 1.4 × 10-4 nm-1, and the measured normalized temperature dependence was approximately 6 × 10-4 °C-1. These values are better in some cases than values for conventional high-birefringent fiber quarter-wave plates.
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