3-port optical circulator/switch with mirror

Optical: systems and elements – Single channel simultaneously to or from plural channels


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385 31, G02B 2710, G02B 626




The present invention is a three port optical circulator including a reflective device such as a mirror. Advantageously, the incorporation of the mirror into the circulator of the present invention enables two ports of the circulator to be terminated using a dual fiber termination and a shared collimating system such as a single GRIN. According to one advantageous embodiment of the invention an optical apparatus of the present invention comprises first and second polarization splitter/combiners including walk-off devices having a splitting end and a combining end. The polarization splitter/combiners further include a polarization interchanger disposed proximate input/output ports at the combining end of the walk-off device. A generalized polarization splitter/combiner further includes another walk-off device having input/output ports at a first end thereof and input/output ports at a second end thereof, the first generalized polarization splitter/combiner including a reflective polarization interchanger disposed proximate input/output ports at the second end. The generalized polarization splitter/combiner is coupled between the first and second polarization splitter/combiner. The device also includes a non-reciprocal polarization interchanger positioned between the second polarization splitter/combiner and first generalized polarization splitter/combiner. The apparatus illustratively functions as a 3-port circulator/1.times.2 switch.

patent: 4516837 (1985-05-01), Soref et al.
patent: 5204771 (1993-04-01), Koga
patent: 5724165 (1998-03-01), Wu
patent: 5754714 (1998-05-01), Suzuki et al.
M. Koga, "Compact quartzless optical quasi-circulator", Electronic Letters, Aug. 18, 1994, pp. 1438-1440.


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