Abstract

Light absorption in optical elements of Faraday rotators results in a nonuniform cross-sectional temperature distribution that leads to depolarization of laser radiation and, consequently, limits the isolation ratio of optical Faraday isolators. We show experimentally that the influence of the temperature dependence of the Verdet constant on the isolation ratio is negligibly small when compared with the influence of the photoelastic effect. We also present two novel methods of optical isolation that significantly reduce the depolarization caused by the photoelastic effect and increase the isolation ratio by two orders of magnitude in comparison with the conventional method. Our results confirm the possibility of magneto-optical glass-based Faraday isolators with isolation ratios of 30 dB for average laser powers of hundreds of watts.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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