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We present a polarization independent optical tunable filter (OTF) with nearly constant transmission characteristics over 1530-1570 nm. The tuning is achieved by horizontally sliding an interference filter, resulting in a very low polarization dependent loss (PDL)<0.1 dB and nearly constant characteristics over the tuning range. By cascading interference filters in double or triple stage, narrower bandwidth characteristics are obtained allowing for smaller channel spacing in wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) systems. Experimental results for PDL, loss, and bandwidth are presented and compared to those of angle-tuned filter. The proposed OTF has shown superior performance promising a practical solution for dense WDM applications.
Date of Publication: June 1997