Optical fibers (largely single mode in this context) as developed for telecommunications have unique properties that enable new and powerful devices to be made from them. Since such devices are usually small, source materials are also cheap. These devices are particularly suited for use in. connection with advanced fiber communications, but this is not the only or even perhaps the major application. Of immediate significance are splitters, selective or not by wavelength or polarization, and there exists an extensive literature on this. Newer components are polarizers, finer wavelength selectors, fiber Bragg mirrors, and taper Interferometers. Active devices in fibers that have advanced recently Include fiber lasers (reported here last year) and amplifiers at various wavelengths. Active switching devices based on nonlinear effects are increasingly significant, and the fiber may offer the optimum structure for ultrafast logic (with some restrictions on design) as it is already tor ultrashort pulse production.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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