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Journal of Lightwave Technology

Journal of Lightwave Technology

| A JOINT IEEE/OSA PUBLICATION

  • Vol. 28, Iss. 21 — Nov. 1, 2010
  • pp: 3121–3127

Polarization-Insensitive Variable Optical Attenuator and Wavelength Blocker Using Liquid Crystal Polarization Gratings

Elena Nicolescu, Chongchang Mao, Amir Fardad, and Michael Escuti

Journal of Lightwave Technology, Vol. 28, Issue 21, pp. 3121-3127 (2010)


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Abstract

We demonstrate a variable optical attenuator (VOA) based on liquid crystal polarization gratings (LCPGs), which eliminates the need for complex polarization management found in competing LC technologies. We then configure the VOA as a multi-channel wavelength blocker resulting in a simple, compact architecture with high performance and low cost. Together with a dual fiber collimator, relay lenses, a diffraction grating, a quarter wave plate, and a mirror we achieve optical attenuation of ~50 dB with minimal polarization dependent loss (≤0.3 dB) and insertion loss (≤2.5 dB). The device also manifests competitive wavelength flatness (≤0.35 dB variation), response times (~40 ms), and temperature dependent loss (≥47 dB maximum attenuation up to 85°C). We describe the principle of operation, explain the fabrication process and optimization challenges, and finally present the system design and experimental results for a four-channel, 100 GHz wavelength blocker in the C-band.

© 2010 IEEE

Citation
Elena Nicolescu, Chongchang Mao, Amir Fardad, and Michael Escuti, "Polarization-Insensitive Variable Optical Attenuator and Wavelength Blocker Using Liquid Crystal Polarization Gratings," J. Lightwave Technol. 28, 3121-3127 (2010)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/jlt/abstract.cfm?URI=jlt-28-21-3121

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