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Laser Components has introduced the PS-LN polarisation switch, an integrated optics wavelength device that switches the polarisation state of an input light between two linear orthogonal output states at frequencies of up to 10GHz.

Practically, the output light in polarisation-maintaining fibres and components is transmitted on either the fast or slow axis. As such, the switch is operational as a TE-to-TM converter.

In principle, the PS-LN rotator is based on a birefringent LiNb03 phase modulator where the waveguide is propagated at 45° of its main axis. The input state of polarisation (SOP) is split up in two orthogonal TE and TM polarisation states.

When the radio-frequency modulation signal is applied via the components’ electrodes, an optical path difference between the TE and TM components is produced, resulting in a new SOP for the output light.

Further information

  • The PS-LN effectively acts as a waveplate with user-adjustable delay. When a modulation signal with properly selected peak levels is applied to a modulator, the input-polarised light is exiting either in an unchanged direction, or rotated by 90°.
  • The two directions are matched with the main axis of the output optical PM fibre and the PS-LN operates as a slow/fast axis switch.
  • Ultimately, the phase modulation signal can be adjusted to provide a linear SOP on either axis of the output fibre. This polarisation rotation provides an efficient means for high-speed polarisation switching or polarisation scrambling.
  • The linearly polarised light entering the modulator at 45° of the crystal’s optical axis can be resolved into two waves: parallel (shown as green) and perpendicular (blue).
  • In the LiNb03 crystal, the parallel wave propagates slightly slower than the perpendicular one, and the speed is adjusted by the voltage applied to the modulator.
  • At the end side of the crystal, the parallel wave is exactly half of a wavelength delayed relative to the perpendicular wave, and the resulting combination (red) is orthogonally polarised compared with the entrance state.

Laser Components

The Laser Components Group was formed in 1986 and is located at six locations in Germany, France, UK, Canada and USA, employing more than 120 people worldwide. In-house production accounts for approximately half its turnover, with partner suppliers accounting for all other business.

Laser Components manufactures and supplies components, OEM modules, sources, optics and detectors, spanning the UV to the FIR. 

Products include:  

  • Photodiodes, including avalanche photodiodes, position sensitive detectors and PIN diodes
  • IR components, including IR detectors, IR emitters and optical components for IR
  • Single photon-counting modules, including accessories and silicon avalanche photodiodes for photon counting
  • Lasers, including laser diodes, laser modules and emitters for telecommunication
  • Measurement devices, including amplifiers, laser power detectors, and measurement instruments
  • Fibre optics, including optical fibres, assembled fibres, active and passive components and accessories
  • Optics, including laser optics, optical filters, optomechanical components, optical components and polarisers
  • Laser accessories, including laser safety products and spare parts and accessories
  • E-beam (physical vapour deposition) ion-assisted deposition and sputtering coating capabilities to the standard catalogue or customer-specific specifications.  

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