Polarization maintaining fiber with very low loss and excellent polarization holding ability has been produced by a variety of techniques1,2,3,4 . The availability of this fiber provides significant new potential for optical communications systems, integrated optics and fiber based sensors. In particular, coherent communications systems require control and maintenance of the state of polarization. The sensitivity of fiber gyroscopes can be enhanced if polarization is maintained. Guided wave devices are polarization dependent due to material and waveguide birefringence and unequal Pockel’s effect coefficients. If polarization can be maintained, guided wave devices with lower operating voltages, higher levels of integration and new functions can be fabricated.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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