Abstract

We present a vector theory of four-wave mixing in optical fibers and use it to discuss the effect of polarization-mode dispersion (PMD) on the performance of parametric amplifiers and wavelength converters. We show that PMD distorts the gain spectrum and makes it less uniform than that expected in the absence of residual birefringence. PMD also induces large fluctuations in the amplified or wavelength-converted signal.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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