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2- and 3-Paddle Polarization Controllers

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Manual Fiber Polarization Controllers




  • Polarization over Full Poincare Sphere
  • Controllers Offered with coring SMF-28e+ or CleanCurve Fiber
  • Easy Operation

Features

  • Polarization Control over Full Poincare Sphere
  • Operates over Full Fiber Bandwidth
  • Very Easy to Operate
  • Compatible with Ø900 µm Jacketed Fibers

If your application includes single mode fiber and requires linearly polarized light, our polarization controllers can be easily implemented to convert elliptically polarized light in a single mode fiber into another state of polarization, including linearly polarized light. This polarization conversion is achieved by loading the paddles with a prescribed number of fiber loops to create a fixed wave plate, and adjusting their positions to control the output polarization state. See the animation to the right for an example of the operating principle.

These polarization controllers utilize stress-induced birefringence to create three independent fractional, fixed wave plates to alter the polarization of the transmitted light in the single mode fiber by looping the fiber around three independent spools. Each spool, in essence, represents a wave plate. The amount of birefringence induced in the fiber is a function of the fiber cladding diameter, the spool diameter (fixed), the number of fiber loops per spool, and the wavelength of the light. The fast axis of the fiber, which is in the plane of the spool, is adjusted with respect to the transmitted polarization vector by manually rotating the paddles. See the Operation tab for more details.

The FPC031, FPC032, FPC561, and FPC562 Fiber Polarization Controllers come preloaded with fiber, while the FPC030, FPC560, and FPC020 fiber polarization controllers are sold empty to allow customers to insert the fiber of their choice. All of our controllers accept single mode, Ø900 µm jacketed fibers. However, the ends of the controller are capable of clamping onto Ø3 mm protective tubing. For fibers with higher bend loss (e.g., Corning's SMF-28e+), use the FPC560, which features the largest spools and therefore the least bending.

 

Operation

These manual polarization controllers utilize stress-induced birefringence to create two or three independent fractional wave plates to alter the polarization in single mode fiber that is looped around two or three independent spools to create the independent fractional wave plates (fiber retarders). The amount of birefringence induced in the fiber is a function of the fiber cladding diameter, the spool diameter (fixed), the number of fiber loops per spool, and the wavelength of the light. (NOTE: the desired birefringence is induced by the loop in the fiber, not by the twisting of the fiber paddles). The fast axis of the fiber, which is in the plane of the spool, is adjusted with respect to the transmitted polarization vector by manually rotating the paddles. To transform an arbitrary input polarization state into an arbitrary output polarization state, a combination of three paddles (a quarter-wave plate, a half-wave plate, and a quarter-wave plate) or two paddles (quarter-wave plate and a quarter-wave plate) is used. The retardance of each paddle may be estimated from the following equation:

Here, φ is the retardance, a is a constant (0.133 for silica fiber), N is the number of loops, d is the fiber cladding diameter, λ is the wavelength, and D is the loop diameter. While this equation is for bare fiber, the solution for Ø900 µm jacketed fiber will be similar enough that the results for this equation can still be used (i.e., the solution will not vary by a complete loop N for Ø900 µm jacketed fiber).


Three-Paddle Polarization Controllers
A three-paddle polarization controller combines a quarter-wave plate, half-wave plate, and quarter-wave plate in series to transform an arbitrary polarization state into any other polarization state. The first quarter-wave plate would transform the input polarization state into a linear polarization state. The half-wave plate would rotate the linear polarization state, and the last quarter-wave plate would transform the linear state into an arbitrary polarization state. This is illustrated in the animation on the Overview tab. Therefore, adjusting each of the three paddles (fiber retarders) allows complete control of the output polarization state over a broad range of wavelengths from 500 to 1600 nm).

 


Miniature Two-Paddle Polarization Controller
The FPC020 miniature two-paddle polarization controller uses two quarter-wave plates to transform an arbitrary polarization state into any other polarization state. In the two-paddle configuration, however, the control of the polarization will be coupled between the two paddles. The design of the FPC020 allows complete control of the output polarization state over a broad range of wavelengths from 480 to 1380 nm.

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