PM Fiber Arrays: Versatile Solutions for Optics and Sensing Applications

PM fiber array is able to maintain the polarization state of the light beam propagation and has high resistance to environmental interference, so it is widely used in the field related to polarization. Polarized fiber arrays are mainly made of quartz, heat-resistant glass, or silicon materials with flat or angled ends, and are mainly used in fiber optic sensors, communication systems, optical devices, fiber lasers, and other structures.

Fiber Optic Sensor

Fiber optic gyroscope is an extremely important application of PM fiber array in the field of sensing. Fiber optic gyroscopes are based on the Sagnac effect, which measures the rotation rate of a fiber optic ring by measuring the phase difference between the wavefront of light propagating in two opposite directions along the ring. Compared with traditional mechanical gyroscopes, fiber optic gyroscopes are characterized by no wear and tear, short start-up time, long service life, high sensitivity, and large measurement dynamic range. It has a wide range of applications in the fields of civil navigation and transportation, military aviation, ships, and guidance.

Communication System

With the rapid development of fiber-optic communication, the communication rate and capacity are further improved, and the communication system also puts forward higher requirements for the performance of optical fiber, so PM fiber array has gradually become an important part of fiber-optic communication system. PM fiber array is used as pigtail for many devices in the communication system, including widely used semiconductor lasers, bait-doped fiber amplifiers, and Raman amplifiers.

Fiber Lasers

PM fiber array is also widely favored in the design and fabrication of lasers for its unique properties. PM fiber array lasers are not only structurally stable and subject to little environmental interference, but also have high output quality, good polarization performance, and can achieve high power laser output through beam combining.

Optical Devices

PM fiber array can be used not only as pigtail for optical devices, but also for the preparation of polarization-related devices. For example, in lithium niobate (LiNbO3) modulators used in telecommunication transmitters, the pigtail of the PM fiber array provides a stable polarization state and is aligned with the birefringence axis of the chip. In polarization interference filters, polarized light in different directions passes through the PM fiber array with different optical range differences, and the selection of light waves can be achieved by using this interference of polarized light.

At present, the bottleneck that restricts the expansion of the application range and the performance improvement of PM fiber array is mainly the lower precision when multiple fibers are assembled to form an array, which is prone to generate a large cumulative error when multiple devices are used in series, thus affecting the performance of the system. At the same time, the rough surface caused by the low precision of end-face processing also leads to the reflection and scattering of the transmitted beam. As technology advances, PM fiber arrays will better meet these challenges.

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