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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 18, Iss. 15 — Jul. 19, 2010
  • pp: 15311–15317
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Observation of light-by-light polarization control and stabilization in optical fibre for telecommunication applications

J. Fatome, S. Pitois, P. Morin, and G. Millot  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 15, pp. 15311-15317 (2010)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.18.015311


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Abstract

In many photonics applications, especially in optical fibre based systems, the state of polarization of light remains so far an elusive uncontrolled variable, which can dramatically affect the performances of that systems and which one would like to control as finely as possible. Here, we experimentally demonstrate light-by-light polarization control via a nonlinear effect occurring in single mode optical fibre. We observe a polarization attraction and stabilization of a 10 Gbit/s optical telecommunication signal around 1550 nm. We also validate the potentiality of the device to annihilate very fast nanosecond polarization bursts. This result confirms yet another fascinating possibility to all-optical control the light properties in optical fibre.

© 2010 OSA

1. Introduction

Here, we report the experimental demonstration of an all-optical polarization attraction process enabling control and stabilization of the state of polarization of an incident light beam. Based on nonlinear interaction occurring in a 20-km long single mode optical fibre between two counter-propagating waves, this novel device can be considered as an ideal polarizer in the sense that both output intensity and polarization are independent of the input polarization. We experimentally show that the polarization of a 10 Gbit/s telecommunication signal can be efficiently controlled and stabilized, independently of its initial fluctuations, even if a very short nanosecond polarization burst is applied.

2. Physical considerations

3. Experimental setup

4. Experimental results

Figure 3a
Fig. 3 Experimental observation of the polarization stabilization effect on the Poincaré sphere: (a) polarization of the signal wave at the system input (b) Signal polarization after nonlinear interaction with the counter-propagating pump wave. The pump and signal powers were 600 mW and 300 mW, respectively (c) Output polarization of the pump wave.
shows on the Poincaré sphere, the polarization state of the 10-Gbit/s signal at the input of the system. Because of the polarization scrambling process, the points are uniformly distributed onto the sphere. When the counter-propagating pump wave is injected into the optical fiber with a 600-mW average power, we clearly observe that most of the points are now localized into a small area, indicating an attraction and stabilization of the polarization state of the signal wave (Fig. 3b). At the same time, we can observe in Fig. 3c that the polarization fluctuations of the signal are vanished from the system by being transferred to the pump wave, which is now roughly scrambled at the output of the fibre. Such fluctuation exchanges ensure conservation of the global polarization entropy of the system.

The efficiency of the polarization attraction process is more striking when monitored in the temporal domain. To this aim, we have inserted a polarization depending device, i.e. a polarizer at the output of the system (Pol in Fig. 2). We have then recorded the 10-Gbit/s output signal eye diagrams by means of a 30-GHz bandwidth oscilloscope. Figure 4
Fig. 4 Eye-diagrams of the 10-Gbit/s signal at the system output and monitored behind a polarizer (a) without and (b) in presence of the counter-propagating pump beam.
represents the eye-diagrams of the initially polarization scrambled signal monitored after the polarizer without (Fig. 4a) and in presence (Fig. 4b) of the counter-propagating pump beam. In the pump-free configuration (Fig. 4a), the polarization fluctuations are transformed into intensity fluctuations through the polarizer, leading to a complete dramatic closure of the eye-diagram. By injecting the counter-propagating pump wave (Fig. 4b), a clear polarization stabilization is obtained. As can be seen, all the out coming pulses have now almost identical polarizations, so that the opening of eye-diagram is now efficiently recovered.

We have also measured the corresponding bit-error-rate (BER) of the 10-Gbit/s signal as a function of the average power incoming on the receiver (Fig. 5a
Fig. 5 (a) Evolution of the bit error rate as a function of average power in back-to-back configuration (blue crosses); at the output of the system, with polarization scrambling and after a polarizer with (red circles) and without (green triangle) the counter-propagating pump beam (b) Intensity profile of the 6-ns polarization burst observed after a polarizer by means of a low bandwidth oscilloscope, without (blue line) and with (red line) counter-propagating pump wave.
). The reference is illustrated by the back-to-back configuration (i.e. at the fiber input) in blue crosses. At the output of the system, when the polarization of the signal is scrambled, corresponding to the eye-diagram of Fig. 4a, the BER is limited to 10−5 (green triangle). When the counter-propagating pump wave is injected (red circles), the quality of the transmission is greatly improved and low BER penalties were obtained on the receiver.

Finally, we have monitored the ability of our system to annihilate a polarization burst, i.e. a strong and fast variation of the polarization signal state [13

13. M. Boroditsky, M. Brodsky, N. J. Frigo, P. Magill, and H. Rosenfeldt, Polarization dynamics in installed fiberoptic systems” IEEE LEOS Annual Meeting Conference Proceedings (LEOS), 413–414 (2005).

]. Such a dramatic event is fortunately rare but could be observed in a telecommunication line and is difficult to avoid with present systems based on active electronic feedback [19

19. M. Martinelli, P. Martelli, and S. M. Pietralunga, “Polarization stabilization in optical communications systems,” J. Lightwave Technol. 24(11), 4172–4183 (2006). [CrossRef]

]. To this aim, a polarization burst, having a temporal width of 6 ns, was introduced into the initial 10-Gbit/s signal by means of a 15-GHz bandwidth optoelectronic polarization modulator. Figure 5b shows the intensity profile of the polarization burst, observed with a low bandwidth oscilloscope at the output of the system and detected after a polarizer. In absence of counter-propagating pump beam, Fig. 5b in blue line, we observe a strong variation of the intensity, which could be disastrous for any sensitive polarization component. When the pump beam is injected, red line, the polarization burst was efficiently reduced by the attraction process, leading to an error-free transmission (BER = 10−12). Before conclusion, we would like to indicate the principal physical factors that limit the attraction process efficiency. The first one is clearly the Polarization Mode Dispersion (PMD) of the fiber, which should be as low as possible. Indeed, the four-wave mixing process responsible for the polarization attraction effect is, in theory, exactly phase-matched only in a perfectly isotropic fiber. In practice, we have checked that the efficiency of the polarization stabilization starts to decrease significantly only for PMD values greater than 0.05 ps/km1/2. Another issue which have to be managed in our system is the spontaneous Brillouin scattering. As well known, once the Brillouin threshold is reached, this effect manifests itself by the generation of backward-propagating Stokes waves. Nevertheless, this effect can be significantly reduced by using a pump wave having a large spectral bandwidth combined with a 100-MHz phase modulation for the signal wave. Finally, it should be noted that the temporal and spectral profiles of the signal wave can be slightly affected by various nonlinear effects, such as self-phase modulation, which are susceptible to occur during the propagation in the optical fiber.

5. Conclusions

In conclusion, we have reported the experimental observation of an all-optical polarization attraction process allowing control and stabilization of the state of polarization of a 10-Gbit/s optical signal at 1550 nm. This phenomenon is based on a four-wave mixing process and was observed thanks to the injection of a counter-propagating pump wave, involving average powers below 1 W. We have also demonstrated that our optical device could strongly reduce intense and fast polarization variations as short as 6 ns. Moreover, it is important to note that the attraction process is only sensitive to signal and pump average powers so that the device could be compatible with higher bit rates and other modulation formats, such as phase modulation formats.

Acknowledgement

This work was supported by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR FUTUR project: ANR-06-TCOM-016) and by the Conseil Régional de Bourgogne.

References and links

1.

G. P. Agrawal, Nonlinear Fiber Optics, 4th ed., (Academic Press, New York, 2007).

2.

G. P. Agrawal, Applications of Nonlinear Fiber Optics,” 2nd ed., (Academic Press, New York, 2008).

3.

E. Desurvire, J. R. Simpson, and P. C. Becker, “High-gain erbium-doped traveling-wave fiber amplifier,” Opt. Lett. 12(11), 888–890 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

4.

L. Razzari, D. Duchesne, M. Ferrera, R. Morandotti, S. Chu, B. E. Little, and D. J. Moss, “CMOS-compatible integrated optical hyper-parametric oscillator,” Nat. Photonics 4(1), 41–45 (2010). [CrossRef]

5.

J. M. Dudley, G. Genty, and S. Coen, “Supercontinuum generation in photonic crystal fiber,” Rev. Mod. Phys. 78(4), 1135–1184 (2006). [CrossRef]

6.

A. J. Barlow, D. N. Payne, M. R. Hadley, and R. J. Mansfield, “Production of single-mode fibers with negligible intrinsic birefringence and polarization mode dispersion,” Electron. Lett. 17(20), 725–726 (1981). [CrossRef]

7.

A. Galtarossa, L. Palmieri, and A. Pizzinat, “Optimized Spinning Design for Low PMD Fibers: An Analytical Approach,” J. Lightwave Technol. 19(10), 1502–1512 (2001). [CrossRef]

8.

I. P. Kaminow, and T. Li, Optical fiber Telecommunications IV-B Systems and Impairments, 4th ed., (Academic Press, San Diego, 2002).

9.

C. D. Poole and R. E. Wagner, “Phenomenological approach to polarization dispersion in long single-mode fibers,” Electron. Lett. 22(19), 1029–1030 (1986). [CrossRef]

10.

J. P. Gordon and H. Kogelnik, “PMD fundamentals: polarization mode dispersion in optical fibers,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 97(9), 4541–4550 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

11.

J. Garnier, J. Fatome, and G. Le Meur, “Statistical analysis of pulse propagation driven by polarization-mode dispersion,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 19(9), 1968–1977 (2002). [CrossRef]

12.

N. Gisin and B. Huttner, “Combined effects of polarization mode dispersion and polarization dependent losses in optical fibers,” Opt. Commun. 142(1-3), 119–125 (1997). [CrossRef]

13.

M. Boroditsky, M. Brodsky, N. J. Frigo, P. Magill, and H. Rosenfeldt, Polarization dynamics in installed fiberoptic systems” IEEE LEOS Annual Meeting Conference Proceedings (LEOS), 413–414 (2005).

14.

R. Salem, M. A. Foster, A. C. Turner, D. F. Geraghty, M. Lipson, and A. L. Gaeta, “Signal regeneration using low-power four-wave mixing on silicon chip,” Nat. Photonics 2(1), 35–38 (2008). [CrossRef]

15.

M. Pelusi, F. Luan, T. D. Vo, M. R. E. Lamont, S. J. Madden, D. A. Bulla, D.-Y. Choi, B. Luther-Davies, and B. J. Eggleton, “Photonic-chip-based radio-frequency spectrum analyser with terahertz bandwidth,” Nat. Photonics 3(3), 139–143 (2009). [CrossRef]

16.

M. Loncar, T. Doll, J. Vuckovic, and A. Scherer, “Design and Fabrication of Silicon Photonic Crystal Optical Waveguides,” J. Lightwave Technol. 18(10), 1402–1411 (2000). [CrossRef]

17.

N. Hitoshi, Y. Sugimoto, K. Kanamoto, N. Ikeda, Y. Tanaka, Y. Nakamura, S. Ohkouchi, Y. Watanabe, K. Inoue, H. Ishikawa, and K. Asakawa, “Ultra-fast photonic crystal/quantum dot alloptical switch for future photonic networks,” Opt. Express 12(26), 6606–6614 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

18.

H. C. Lefevre, “Single-Mode Fibre Fractional Wave Devices and Polarisation Controllers,” Electron. Lett. 16(20), 778–780 (1980). [CrossRef]

19.

M. Martinelli, P. Martelli, and S. M. Pietralunga, “Polarization stabilization in optical communications systems,” J. Lightwave Technol. 24(11), 4172–4183 (2006). [CrossRef]

20.

B. Koch, A. Hidayat, H. Zhang, V. Mirvoda, M. Lichtinger, D. Sandel, and R. Noè, “Optical endless polarization stabilization at 9 krad/s with FPGA-based controller,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20(12), 961–963 (2008). [CrossRef]

21.

M. Martinelli, M. Cirigliano, M. Ferrario, L. Marazzi, and P. Martelli, “Evidence of Raman-induced polarization pulling,” Opt. Express 17(2), 947–955 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

22.

L. Thevenaz, A. Zadok, A. Eyal, and M. Tur, “All-optical polarization control through Brillouin amplification”, in Optical Fiber Communication Conference, 2008 OSA Technical Digest CD (2008), paper OML7.

23.

A. Zadok, E. Zilka, A. Eyal, L. Thévenaz, and M. Tur, “Vector analysis of stimulated Brillouin scattering amplification in standard single-mode fibers,” Opt. Express 16(26), 21692–21707 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

24.

J. Fatome, S. Pitois, and G. Millot, “Experimental evidence of Brillouin-induced polarization wheeling in highly birefringent optical fibers,” Opt. Express 17(15), 12612–12618 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

25.

J. E. Heebner, R. S. Bennink, R. W. Boyd, and R. A. Fisher, “Conversion of unpolarized light to polarized light with greater than 50% efficiency by photorefractive two-beam coupling,” Opt. Lett. 25(4), 257–259 (2000). [CrossRef]

26.

S. Pitois, G. Millot, and S. Wabnitz, “Nonlinear polarization dynamics of counterpropagating waves in an isotropic optical fiber: theory and experiments,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 18(4), 432–443 (2001). [CrossRef]

27.

A. Picozzi, “Spontaneous polarization induced by natural thermalization of incoherent light,” Opt. Express 16(22), 17171–17185 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

28.

E. Assémat, S. Lagrange, A. Picozzi, H. R. Jauslin, and D. Sugny, “Complete nonlinear polarization control in an optical fiber system,” Opt. Lett. 35(12), 2025–2027 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

29.

S. Pitois, A. Sauter, and G. Millot, “Simultaneous achievement of polarization attraction and Raman amplification in isotropic optical fibers,” Opt. Lett. 29(6), 599–601 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

30.

S. Pitois, J. Fatome, and G. Millot, “Polarization attraction using counter-propagating waves in optical fiber at telecommunication wavelengths,” Opt. Express 16(9), 6646–6651 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

OCIS Codes
(060.4370) Fiber optics and optical communications : Nonlinear optics, fibers
(190.4370) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, fibers
(230.4320) Optical devices : Nonlinear optical devices

ToC Category:
Fiber Optics and Optical Communications

History
Original Manuscript: April 21, 2010
Revised Manuscript: June 24, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: June 28, 2010
Published: July 2, 2010

Citation
J. Fatome, S. Pitois, P. Morin, and G. Millot, "Observation of light-by-light polarization control and stabilization in optical fibre for telecommunication applications," Opt. Express 18, 15311-15317 (2010)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-18-15-15311


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References

  1. G. P. Agrawal, Nonlinear Fiber Optics, 4th ed., (Academic Press, New York, 2007).
  2. G. P. Agrawal, Applications of Nonlinear Fiber Optics,” 2nd ed., (Academic Press, New York, 2008).
  3. E. Desurvire, J. R. Simpson, and P. C. Becker, “High-gain erbium-doped traveling-wave fiber amplifier,” Opt. Lett. 12(11), 888–890 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. L. Razzari, D. Duchesne, M. Ferrera, R. Morandotti, S. Chu, B. E. Little, and D. J. Moss, “CMOS-compatible integrated optical hyper-parametric oscillator,” Nat. Photonics 4(1), 41–45 (2010). [CrossRef]
  5. J. M. Dudley, G. Genty, and S. Coen, “Supercontinuum generation in photonic crystal fiber,” Rev. Mod. Phys. 78(4), 1135–1184 (2006). [CrossRef]
  6. A. J. Barlow, D. N. Payne, M. R. Hadley, and R. J. Mansfield, “Production of single-mode fibers with negligible intrinsic birefringence and polarization mode dispersion,” Electron. Lett. 17(20), 725–726 (1981). [CrossRef]
  7. A. Galtarossa, L. Palmieri, and A. Pizzinat, “Optimized Spinning Design for Low PMD Fibers: An Analytical Approach,” J. Lightwave Technol. 19(10), 1502–1512 (2001). [CrossRef]
  8. I. P. Kaminow, and T. Li, Optical fiber Telecommunications IV-B Systems and Impairments, 4th ed., (Academic Press, San Diego, 2002).
  9. C. D. Poole and R. E. Wagner, “Phenomenological approach to polarization dispersion in long single-mode fibers,” Electron. Lett. 22(19), 1029–1030 (1986). [CrossRef]
  10. J. P. Gordon and H. Kogelnik, “PMD fundamentals: polarization mode dispersion in optical fibers,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 97(9), 4541–4550 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. J. Garnier, J. Fatome, and G. Le Meur, “Statistical analysis of pulse propagation driven by polarization-mode dispersion,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 19(9), 1968–1977 (2002). [CrossRef]
  12. N. Gisin and B. Huttner, “Combined effects of polarization mode dispersion and polarization dependent losses in optical fibers,” Opt. Commun. 142(1-3), 119–125 (1997). [CrossRef]
  13. M. Boroditsky, M. Brodsky, N. J. Frigo, P. Magill, and H. Rosenfeldt, “Polarization dynamics in installed fiberoptic systems” IEEE LEOS Annual Meeting Conference Proceedings (LEOS), 413–414 (2005).
  14. R. Salem, M. A. Foster, A. C. Turner, D. F. Geraghty, M. Lipson, and A. L. Gaeta, “Signal regeneration using low-power four-wave mixing on silicon chip,” Nat. Photonics 2(1), 35–38 (2008). [CrossRef]
  15. M. Pelusi, F. Luan, T. D. Vo, M. R. E. Lamont, S. J. Madden, D. A. Bulla, D.-Y. Choi, B. Luther-Davies, and B. J. Eggleton, “Photonic-chip-based radio-frequency spectrum analyser with terahertz bandwidth,” Nat. Photonics 3(3), 139–143 (2009). [CrossRef]
  16. M. Loncar, T. Doll, J. Vuckovic, and A. Scherer, “Design and Fabrication of Silicon Photonic Crystal Optical Waveguides,” J. Lightwave Technol. 18(10), 1402–1411 (2000). [CrossRef]
  17. N. Hitoshi, Y. Sugimoto, K. Kanamoto, N. Ikeda, Y. Tanaka, Y. Nakamura, S. Ohkouchi, Y. Watanabe, K. Inoue, H. Ishikawa, and K. Asakawa, “Ultra-fast photonic crystal/quantum dot alloptical switch for future photonic networks,” Opt. Express 12(26), 6606–6614 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. H. C. Lefevre, “Single-Mode Fibre Fractional Wave Devices and Polarisation Controllers,” Electron. Lett. 16(20), 778–780 (1980). [CrossRef]
  19. M. Martinelli, P. Martelli, and S. M. Pietralunga, “Polarization stabilization in optical communications systems,” J. Lightwave Technol. 24(11), 4172–4183 (2006). [CrossRef]
  20. B. Koch, A. Hidayat, H. Zhang, V. Mirvoda, M. Lichtinger, D. Sandel, and R. Noè, “Optical endless polarization stabilization at 9 krad/s with FPGA-based controller,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20(12), 961–963 (2008). [CrossRef]
  21. M. Martinelli, M. Cirigliano, M. Ferrario, L. Marazzi, and P. Martelli, “Evidence of Raman-induced polarization pulling,” Opt. Express 17(2), 947–955 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. L. Thevenaz, A. Zadok, A. Eyal, and M. Tur, “All-optical polarization control through Brillouin amplification”, in Optical Fiber Communication Conference, 2008 OSA Technical Digest CD (2008), paper OML7.
  23. A. Zadok, E. Zilka, A. Eyal, L. Thévenaz, and M. Tur, “Vector analysis of stimulated Brillouin scattering amplification in standard single-mode fibers,” Opt. Express 16(26), 21692–21707 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. J. Fatome, S. Pitois, and G. Millot, “Experimental evidence of Brillouin-induced polarization wheeling in highly birefringent optical fibers,” Opt. Express 17(15), 12612–12618 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  25. J. E. Heebner, R. S. Bennink, R. W. Boyd, and R. A. Fisher, “Conversion of unpolarized light to polarized light with greater than 50% efficiency by photorefractive two-beam coupling,” Opt. Lett. 25(4), 257–259 (2000). [CrossRef]
  26. S. Pitois, G. Millot, and S. Wabnitz, “Nonlinear polarization dynamics of counterpropagating waves in an isotropic optical fiber: theory and experiments,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 18(4), 432–443 (2001). [CrossRef]
  27. A. Picozzi, “Spontaneous polarization induced by natural thermalization of incoherent light,” Opt. Express 16(22), 17171–17185 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  28. E. Assémat, S. Lagrange, A. Picozzi, H. R. Jauslin, and D. Sugny, “Complete nonlinear polarization control in an optical fiber system,” Opt. Lett. 35(12), 2025–2027 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  29. S. Pitois, A. Sauter, and G. Millot, “Simultaneous achievement of polarization attraction and Raman amplification in isotropic optical fibers,” Opt. Lett. 29(6), 599–601 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  30. S. Pitois, J. Fatome, and G. Millot, “Polarization attraction using counter-propagating waves in optical fiber at telecommunication wavelengths,” Opt. Express 16(9), 6646–6651 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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