Abstract

The two principal polarizations of birefringent optical fiber can be coupled by subjecting the fiber to stress that is spatially periodic along the length of the fiber. If the stress is temporally varied by using an acoustic wave, the coupling varies accordingly, and optical power can be transferred between polarizations dynamically. When an output polarizer is used to pass only one of the principal polarizations, this transfer of power is seen as a modulation of the intensity of the light passed by the polarizer. By using a surface acoustic-wave device, modulation depths up to 70% have been obtained. The bandwidth of such a device is limited only by the bandwidth of the transducers. A bandwidth of 4 MHz centered at 4.5 MHz has been obtained with the device reported here.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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