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11 January 2005 Fiber-based devices for DWDM optical communication systems
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Photonic devices with low insertion loss are important in dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) systems. Currently most of these devices, such as variable optical attenuators (VOA), switches, filters, and dispersion compensators, etc., involve bulk (or micro-optic) components that require conversions between fibers and free-space optical elements leading to high insertion loss. Recently, we have proposed, analyzed, and demonstrated several fiber based devices for DWDM optical communication systems. Here we present an in-line fiber VOA, a 2x2 switchable wavelength add/drop filter, and high performance dispersion compensators. The VOA is built with a side-polished fiber covered with a liquid crystal overlay. By varying the orientation of the liquid crystal molecules using an applied electric field, the loss of the device can be controlled. The 2x2 wavelength switch is designed by recording electrically switchable holographic gratings in a layer of holographic polymer dispersed liquid crystal (H-PDLC) sandwiched between two side-polished fibers. The dispersion compensators are based on high precision fiber Bragg gratings (FBG). A unique method for writing FBGs with arbitrary phase and amplitude distributions is demonstrated. All of these devices are analyzed theoretically and demonstrated experimentally. Both theoretical and experimental results will be presented and discussed. These devices are suitable for DWDM optical information transmission and network management.
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Claire Gu, Yuan Xu, Yisi Liu, Jing-Jong Pan, Fengqing Zhou, Liang Dong, and Henry He "Fiber-based devices for DWDM optical communication systems", Proc. SPIE 5642, Information Optics and Photonics Technology, (11 January 2005);

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