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Compact electro-optic polarization scramblers for optically amplified lightwave systems

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1 Author(s)
Heismann, F. ; Lucent Technol., Holmdel, NJ, USA

Fast polarization scramblers have become important components in optically amplified transoceanic communication systems to eliminate anisotropic gain saturation (polarization hole burning) in the erbium-doped fiber amplifiers by depolarizing the launched optical carrier. This paper reviews the operation and implementation of compact electro-optic polarization scramblers on x-cut and z-cut lithium niobate. These integrated-optic devices employ low-loss single-mode waveguides and allow polarization modulation at variable frequencies ranging from a few 100 Hz to more than 10 GHz. We describe simple linear phase retarders that depolarize light in a fixed, well-maintained polarization state as well as cascaded multi-stage scramblers that are capable of depolarizing arbitrarily polarized light. These scramblers can be operated over a broad optical bandwidth of more than 40 nm with less than 5% residual degree of polarization and are further wavelength-tunable over more than 100 nm

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Lightwave Technology, Journal of  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 8 )