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# ISOLATORS &

CIRCULATORS
Submitted By: Tanvi Nara
( 14ECP017)

Introduction
Couplers

## and other such optical

devices : Reciprocal devices

Isolators

Non-reciprocal

## optics means that

changes in the properties of light
passing through the device are
not reversed when light passes
through opposite direction.

Circulator

Circulator

Isolator
When

## one port of a 3-port circulator is

terminated, it can be used as an isolator,
since signal can travel in only one
direction b/w remaining ports.

Isolators

## are used at output of optical

amplifiers to prevent reflections from
entering the devices, which would

loss (~1dB)

Circulator
A

## circulator is similar to an isolator, except that it has multiple ports,

typically (a)three or (b)four.

Circulators

## work on the same principles as isolators.

Principle of Operation
State

## of polarization (SOP) of light refers to the orientation of its

electric field vector(E) on a plane that is orthogonal to its direction
of propagation.
E=Ex +Ey

## where Ex and Ey are the horizontal and vertical modes respectively.

Assume

that the input light signal has the vertical SOP as shown in the
figure. It is passed through a polarizer which passes only light energy
in the vertical SOP.

The

## polarizer is followed by a Faraday rotator i.e. a non-reciprocal

device that rotates the SOP by 45deg, regardless of the direction of
propagation.

The

## faraday rotator is followed by another polarizer that passes SOPs

with this 45deg orientation.

Thus

## light signal from left to right is passed without any loss.

But

the light signal from going from right to left due to reflection, with
the same 45deg SOP orientation, is rotated another 45deg by rotator,
and thus blocked by the first polarizer.

Note:

## In the above example, a particular SOP was assumed for input

light signal but practically we cant control the SOP of a light signal.

Practical polarization-independent
isolator
The

## SWP (spatial walk-off polarizer) splits the signal into two

orthogonally polarized components.

SWP

## are realized using birefringent crystals whose refractive index is

different for two components.

## rotator rotates the SOP by 45deg

Propagation from L to R

Half

## wave plate ( a reciprocal device) rotates the SOPs by 45deg in

clockwise direction for signals propagating from L to R and by 45deg
in anticlockwise direction for signal going from R to L

Therefore,

## combination of rotator and half wave plate converts

horizontal polarization into vertical and vice versa and the two
signals are combined by another SWP at the output.

Propagation from R to L

For

## reflected signals in the reverse direction, the half wave plate

and Faraday rotator cancel each others effects, and SOPs remain
unchanged as they pass through these two devices and are thus
not recombined by the SWP at the input.

Circulators

Because

## of its high isolation of the input

and reflected optical powers and its low
insertion loss, optical circulators are
systems
and
fibre
optic
sensor
applications.

References
Optical