As the telecommunication system has evolved, the need for a faster and more efficient network is urgent. Thus, the advent of all optical networks is a certainty. A variety of switching technologies have been developed to try and achieve fast and reliable switching, including a series of mechanical optical switches, MEMS switches, thermo optic switches, electro optic switches, acousto optical switches and so on. However, these optical switches have relatively high insertion loss or low switching time, which cannot fully satisfy the requirement of all optical networks. Fortunately, a new type of optical switch has been developed: Magneto-Optical Switch. Featured as low insertion loss and fast switching time, it boasts capabilities operating at low voltage, handling large beam cross sections and a broad application fields.
Magneto-optic switch is composed of a magneto-optic Faraday rotator (MOFR), beam displacer and core. Such switch utilizes the magneto-optic effect to work. The principle is as follows.
The Faraday rotation effect results the change of magnet field and then change the beam displacer which affects the incident polarized light and thus the light route is switched.
A form presenting several features of MEMS, mechanical optical switch and magneto-optic switch is as below.
It is indicated from the form that magneto-optic switch processes advantages including faster switching time and longer durability. Besides, due to no physical displacement, magneto-optic switch has better reliability.
Glsun provides more specification of mageto-optic switches.
How about its applications? It is known that MEMS applications cover many fields (Give MEMS A Fulcrum, and It Shall Move The World). Being an optical switch with better performance, the applications of magneto-optic switch is promising and of great potential.
Applications part will be released next time! Stay tuned!