The study is an advance in understanding and controlling the polarization of light inside a laser. The achievement can contribute to the manufacture of new polarized sources for telecommunications and sensors.
A research team with the participation of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) has for the first time achieved a random fiber laser that allows the simultaneous generation of laser radiation at close frequencies with different polarization states, with efficiencies comparable to those of a conventional fiber laser. The results, published in the journal Scientific Reports, represent an important advance in the understanding and control of the polarization of light inside a laser and open a way towards the manufacture of new sources of polarized light with applications in telecommunications and sensors.
“Polarization (the plane or combination of planes in which the electric field of an electromagnetic wave vibrates) is a property of light that has numerous technological applications, ranging from the quality control of transparent objects to the projection of 3D films, through the manufacture of sunglasses, LCD screens or photographic filters, “explains Juan Diego Ania Castañón, CSIC researcher at the” Daza de Valdés “Institute of Optics (IO-CSIC) that has led the study .
“In this work we have made use of an effect known as polarization attraction, which allows one light beam to modify the polarization state of another, to manufacture a fiber optic laser capable of simultaneously emitting light in different states of polarization In the process we have taken a significant step in the understanding and control of the properties of fiber optic lasers Our results demonstrate that we can separately control the polarization state of two light beams that are transmitted at the same time and at almost frequencies identical in opposite directions inside the same laser, “says the researcher.
“In the world of fiber optics the control of polarization has many uses,” adds Ania Castañón. “In telecommunications, for example, the polarization state allows to differentiate two signals transmitted by a fiber, doubling the data transmission capacity. It can also be used to amplify a signal using less energy or reduce noise in the received signal, which polarization control is also fundamental in the development of various types of fiber sensors, from gyroscopes for aerospace use to distributed vibration detectors for the monitoring of large infrastructures. “, concludes the researcher.