Conventional low-coherence interferometry (LCI) can be employed in the measurement of polarization mode dispersion (PMD) of fiber-optic components and fibers. However, the smallest PMD, which can be measured using this technique, is limited by the coherence length of the source. We propose a biased π-shifted Michelson interferometer where a birefringent crystal is inserted in front of the interferometer to introduce a bias differential group delay (DGD) larger than the coherence time of the source. In this way, the limitation imposed by the source coherence time has been overcome and PMDs much smaller than the source coherence time, in the order of several femtoseconds, can be measured. Experimental results for the PMD have been shown and compared with Jones matrix eigen-analysis. The theoretical model confirms the experimental observations.
© Optical Society of America
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