Abstract

We study the performance of a nonlinear lossless polarizer (NLP), the device that transforms an input arbitrary state of polarization (SOP) of a signal beam into one and the same SOP toward the output and, unlike conventional passive polarizers, performs this transformation without polarization-dependent losses. The operation principle of this device is based on the nonlinear rotation of the SOP of the strong signal beam under the interaction with a copropagating strong pump beam in a Kerr medium, which in our case is a telecom fiber. We quantify the performance of this NLP by introducing the notion of instantaneous degree of polarization, which is a natural extension of the conventional notion of the degree of polarization appropriate for CW beams to the case of pulses whose SOP is not constant across the pulse. We pay particular attention to the regime when signal and pump beams experience a walk-off in the dispersive medium. In particular, we demonstrate that a signal pulse experiences much stronger repolarization when the walk-off effect is present as compared with the case of no walk-off. We also study the degradation of the efficiency of the NLP in the presence of polarization mode dispersion.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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