Abstract

The operation of an unconventional, power-symmetric nonlinear optical loop mirror (NOLM) is investigated. Its principle is based on the creation of a polarization asymmetry between the counterpropagating beams, through the use of a quarter-wave plate and highly twisted fiber in the loop. Using a very intuitive approach, we propose a simple although comprehensive description of the NOLM operation. By adjusting the angle of the quarter-wave plate, the interferometer can be tuned continuously from non-power-dependent operation to nonlinear switching, in a very convenient way. Experimental results confirm theoretical predictions. The properties of the proposed NOLM design make it very attractive for various applications, like pedestal suppression and amplitude regularization of optical pulse trains.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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References

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Electron. Lett. (2)

O. Pottiez, E. A. Kuzin, B. Ibarra-Escamilla, J. T. Camas-Anzueto, and F. Gutiérrez-Zainos, "Experimental demonstration of NOLM switching based on nonlinear polarisation rotation," Electron. Lett. 40, 892-894 (2004).
[CrossRef]

H. C. Lefevre, ???Single-mode fibre fractional wave devices and polarisation controllers,??? Electron. Lett. 16, 778-780 (1980).
[CrossRef]

IEEE J. Quantum Electron. (2)

A. E. Siegman, ???An antiresonant ring interferometer for coupled laser cavities, laser output coupling, mode locking, and cavity dumping,??? IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-9, 247-250 (1973).
[CrossRef]

M. D. Pelusi, Y. Matsui, and A. Suzuki, ???Pedestal suppression from compressed femtosecond pulses using a nonlinear fiber loop mirror,??? IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 35, 867-874 (1999).
[CrossRef]

IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. (1)

A. Bogoni, P. Ghelfi, M. Scaffardi, and L. Potì, ???All-optical regeneration and demultiplexing for 160-Gb/s transmission systems using a NOLM-based three-stage scheme,??? IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 10, 192-196 (2004).
[CrossRef]

IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. (5)

M. Attygalle, A. Nirmalathas, and H. F. Liu, ???Novel technique for reduction of amplitude modulation of pulse trains generated by subharmonic synchronous mode-locked laser,??? IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 14, 543-545 (2002).
[CrossRef]

W. W. Tang, C. Shu, and K. L. Lee, ???Rational harmonic mode locking of an optically triggered fiber laser incorporating an nonlinear optical loop modulator,??? IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 13, 16-18 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Y. W. Lee, J. Jung, and B. Lee, ???Multiwavelength-switchable SOA-fiber ring laser based on polarizationmaintaining fiber loop mirror and polarization beam splitter,??? IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 54-56 (2004).
[CrossRef]

E. Simova and I. Golub, ???Phase-stepping an all-fiber Sagnac loop for full characterization of femtosecond PMD,??? IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 15, 960-962 (2003).
[CrossRef]

H. C. Lim, F. Futami, and K. Kikuchi, ???Polarization-independent, wavelength-shift-free optical phase conjugator using a nonlinear fiber Sagnac interferometer,??? IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 11, 578-580 (1999).
[CrossRef]

J. Lightwave Technol. (1)

D. B. Mortimore, ???Fiber loop reflectors,??? J. Lightwave Technol. 6, 1217-1224 (1988).
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. B (3)

Opt. Commun. (1)

O. Pottiez, E. A. Kuzin, B. Ibarra-Escamilla, and F. Méndez Martínez, ???Easily tuneable nonlinear optical loop mirror including low-birefringence, highly twisted fibre with invariant output polarisation,??? Opt. Commun. 229, 147-159 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Lett. (7)

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Schematic representation of the polarization evolution in the NOLM under study, for circular input polarization. The z axis corresponds to the propagation direction. The effect of the twist-induced optical activity of the loop was not represented. Solid lines correspond to the initial position of the QWP (α=0), and dotted lines to the QWP rotated by an angle α.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Experimental setup.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Linear NOLM transmission versus quarter-wave plate angle α*. Circles: measured data; Solid line: sinusoidal fit.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

NOLM transmission versus input power, for α*=0.92 (a), 1.35 (b), 1.88 (c), and 2.36 (d). Circles: measured data; Solid line: best fit.

Equations (3)

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z C + = i β P ( C + 2 + 2 C - 2 ) C + ;
z C - = i β P ( C - 2 + 2 C + 2 ) C - ,
T ( P in , α ) = P out P in = 1 2 1 4 [ cos ( π P in P π ) + cos ( π P in P π + 4 α ) ] .

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