We propose an optical isolator based on the electro-optic (EO) effect of periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN). When the EO effect occurs in PPLN under a TE field, each domain serves as a half-wave plate under the quasi-phase-matching condition, and PPLN shows optical activity similar to quartz. The introduction of an additional half-domain to the normal PPLN changes the incident azimuth angle of the reflected light. As a result, the reflected light does not return to the original polarization state. Thus, the optical rotation accumulates and optical isolation occurs. The isolator can be employed for all linearly polarized light and has the advantage of being used in a weak-light system with low driving voltage and high isolation contrast.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: October 15, 2012
Revised Manuscript: November 10, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: November 16, 2012
Published: December 13, 2012
Lei Shi, Linghao Tian, and Xianfeng Chen, "Optical isolator based on the electro-optic effect in periodically poled lithium niobate with the addition of a half domain," Appl. Opt. 51, 8521-8525 (2012)