A birefringent optical fiber can be used to make an intensity discriminator for optical pulses. Such a discriminator would be particularly useful for separating the intense subpicosecond pulses formed by solitonlike compression from the weaker uncompressed background. Compression of 6.5-psec pulses at a wavelength of 1.55 µm by a factor of 5 has been reported,1 and compressions to ~300 fsec have recently been observed.2 Typically, about half of the initial power appears in the compressed pulse and half in the background. The discriminator works because the state of polarization out of the fiber can be intensity dependent permitting separation of the pulse and background with wave plates and a polarizer.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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