Patent Number: 6,310,989

Title: Fiber optical circulator

Abstract: A fiber optical circulator wherein optical fibers of three ports share one glass capillary, one collimator lens and one walk-off crystal. Three optical fibers lie on a plane in a glass capillary that is aligned with a collimator lens concentrically. A light fed into the fiber of port 1, which is off optical axis of collimator lens, is collimated with an angle .theta. to the axis of collimate lens. The collimated beam is divided into two orthogonal components by a first crystal. A device group consisting of one Faraday rotator and one pair of Half Wave Plates transfers the State Of Polarization (SOP) of two components into the same. The angled part of a combined prism bent both beams to be parallel to optical axis of system. The lights pass through a second crystal without displacement due to their SOP. Their SOP receive 90.degree. rotations by a round trip in followed Faraday rotator with help of a reflection film on the backside or a mirror. The light components receive a displacement onto optical axis after the second crystal due to their rotated SOP, pass through the flat part of combined prism, changes their SOP with help of the group of Rotator and wave plate, combined into one beam by the first crystal, and is focused into the fiber of port 2 by collimate lens. The process of port 2 to port 3 is similar to above. The light fed into fiber of port 2 is collimated to be parallel to the optical axis. The collimated beams pass though all parts then reflected by the reflection film or mirror. The light beam in return path receives a displacement by the second crystal and bending angle by the angled part of combined prism. The light is finally focused into the fiber of port 3 by the collimate lens. Since this circulator requires less optical parts, it achieves compact size and low cost simultaneously.

Inventors: Liu; Zhimin (San Jose, CA)

Assignee:

International Classification: G02F 1/09 (20060101); G02F 1/01 (20060101); G02B 6/26 (20060101); G02B 006/34 (); G02B 006/27 (); G02B 005/30 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018