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Sagnac Interferometric Switch Utilizing Faraday Rotation
Category(s):
For Information, Contact:
Jay Bjerke
Commercialization Manager, Engineering
515-294-4740
licensing@iastate.edu
Web Published:
5/7/2015
ISURF #
3654
Summary:
Iowa State University researchers have developed a novel fiber-based magneto-optic on-off switch that enables compact, effective, and low cost switching capabilities.

Development Stage:
A prototype switch is available for testing

Description:
The growing demand for high speed, high bandwidth applications, such as communication networks and optical data, has resulted in an increasing need for all-optical switching technologies.  However, the capacity that fiber-optic communications offers is limited by the bottleneck caused by electrical-optical conversions in current systems, and electronic switching approaches are not believed to be sufficient to meet future bandwidth demands.  Magneto-optical fiber-based switches have been viewed as promising for use in optical switches because of their low insertion losses and ease of integration into optical systems.  As part of an effort to develop practical magneto-optical fiber-based switches, ISU researchers have recently created a Sagnac interferometric switch utilizing Faraday rotation.  This switch can be used to connect or disconnect a transmitter from a fiber optic network instead of turning the transmitter on or off electronically.  Since electronically controlled switching can take hundreds of microseconds, the ISU switch can help overcome switching bottlenecks.  In addition, since this novel fiber-based magneto-optic switch allows users to closer an optical fiber line when needed, it may enable applications that require compact, effective and low cost switching capabilities.  This switch structure can also be integrated to form a complete and cost-effective optical system as part of a photonic integrated circuit.

Group:
Advantage:
• Advantage: Rapid (switching times on the order of 100s nanoseconds are possible
• Simple (integration into silicon-based technology is easier than with existing approaches)
• Economical (has lower insertion loss and power consumption, and is less expensive to implement)
References:
Patent Information:
*To see the full version of the patent(s), follow the link below, then click on "Images" button.
Country Serial No. Patent No. Issued Date
United States 12/845,943 8,478,082* 7/2/2013


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