Title page for ETD etd-04302004-191256

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Sanghvi, Harsh
Author's Email Address hsanghvi@vt.edu
URN etd-04302004-191256
Title Characterization of Wideband All-Fiber Waveplates
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Stolen, Roger Hall Committee Chair
Jacobs, Ira Committee Member
Safaai-Jazi, Ahmad Committee Member
  • waveplates
  • polarization
  • optical fibers
  • birefringence
  • PM fibers
Date of Defense 2004-04-27
Availability restricted
Many commercial and laboratory applications of fiber optics require an ability to manipulate, change and control the state of polarization of light. This is usually accomplished with bulk-optic wave plates which are inherently narrowband, bulky, and often require careful manual tuning and adjustments. H.C. Huang has recently proposed that a variably spun birefringent fiber with spin rate slowly varying from zero to very fast (or vice versa) will transform the state of polarization (SOP) from linear to circular (and vice versa). The most remarkable feature of a Huang fiber is that the transformation from linear to circular polarization is independent of wavelength over entire single mode range of the fiber.

In this thesis, using simulations and experiments we explore the properties of such a fiber element and investigate its similarities and differences as compared to a bulk-optic quarter-wave plate. In the simulations, we modeled the Huang fiber as a stack of birefringent waveplates and used this model verify the theoretically predicted polarization transformation behavior and the wideband nature of the Huang fiber. We analyzed the dependence of the polarization transformation by this device on various structural parameters and showed that while the fiber has loose tolerances with respect to the fiber length and the spin variation, it has a strong dependence on the maximum spin rate at the high-spun end. We investigated the PMD characteristics of the Huang fiber for short pulse applications. Using simulations we also verified that two such quarter wave-transforming fibers can be appropriately cascaded to obtain half-wave and full-wave transformation, analogous to bulk optics half wave and full wave plate respectively.

In the experiments we studied the polarization transformation behavior of a Huang fiber sample when it is excited by different input states of polarization both from the un-spun end and the high-spun end. We found that the results from the experiments strongly support the simulation results. The experiment was performed at 1310 nm and 1550 nm to verify the wideband nature of the Huang fiber sample. We found that the Huang fiber indeed performs the prescribed state of polarization transformation over a wide band.

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