Abstract

The effect of the polarization-mode dispersion (PMD) of an acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF) is studied both theoretically and experimentally. A coupled-mode method derived from Maxwell’s equations is proposed to study the evolution of the polarization of light and hence the deterministic dynamics of the PMD inside an AOTF. It is found that the PMD value of a typical AOTF is around several picoseconds and is adjustable by tuning the strength of the applied sound signal. A set of experimental data acquired by the wavelength scanning method is employed to check the validity of the proposed method. A high degree of similarity is observed between the experimental and the theoretical data.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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