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Polarization-Maintaining Fiber Optic Circulators


  • Non-Reciprocating, Unidirectional Operation
  • Center Wavelengths: 1064 nm, 1310 nm, or 1550 nm
  • Polarization-Maintaining Fiber Available with Bare Fiber,
    FC/PC Connectors, or FC/APC Connectors
  • Fast Axis Blocking

OC-L-1550

CIR1310PM-FC

Port 2

Port 1

Port 3

Circulator

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Features

  • Compact Inline Package
  • Epoxy-Free Optical Path
  • High-Power Options for 1064 and 1550 nm

Applications

  • Add-Drop Multiplexing
  • Fiber Sensors
  • Bidirectional Pumping
  • Bidirectional Signal Transmission Systems
  • Coupling Inline Chromatic Dispersion Compensation Devices

Click to Enlarge
A PM Fiber Circulator Mounted in our BFCT Fiber Component Tray

Thorlabs’ Polarization-Maintaining (PM) Optic Circulators are non-reciprocating, unidirectional, three-port devices that are used in a wide range of optical setups. Available with a center wavelength of 1064, 1310 (O-Band), or 1550 nm (C-Band), these circulators are fast axis blocked and hence are designed to work with light that is launched into the slow axis. Offered are circulators with no connectors, FC/PC connectors, or FC/APC connectors. Thorlabs also offers Single Mode (SM) Fiber Optical Circulators.

Circulator as an Add/Drop

Circulator used to drop an optical channel from a DWDM system using a Fiber Bragg Grating.

An optical circulator is analogous to an electronic circulator in that both perform similar functions. An optical circulator is a three-port device that allows light to travel in only one direction. A signal entering Port 1 will exit Port 2 with minimal loss, while a signal entering Port 2 will exit Port 3 with minimal loss. Light entering port 2 experiences a large amount of loss at port 1, and light entering port 3 experiences a large amount of loss at ports 2 and 1. Optical circulators are non-reciprocal devices. This means that any changes in the properties of the light caused by passing through the device are not reversed by traveling in the opposite direction.

Because of their high isolation and low insertion loss, optical circulators are widely used in advanced communication systems as add-drop multiplexers, bi-directional pumps, and chromatic dispersion compensation devices.

The example to the left depicts the use of a circulator to drop an optical channel from a DWDM system using a Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG). The input DWDM channels are coupled into Port 1 of the device with a FBG device connected to Port 2. The single wavelength reflected from the FBG then reenters the circulator in port 2 and is routed accordingly to Port 3. The remaining signals pass through the FBG and exit on the top fiber.

Bi-direction Circulators

Circulators can also be used to send optical signal in two directions down a single fiber. A circulator is located at both ends of the fiber. Each circulator functions to add a signal in one direction while removing the signal in the other. See the example to the right.

For custom wavelength and connector options, please contact Technical Support.

Item # CIR1064PMa CIR1310PMa CIR1550PMa OC-L-1064 OC-L-1550
Optical Specifications
Wavelength Range 1059 - 1069 nm 1280 – 1340 nm 1520 - 1580 nm 1053 – 1075 nm 1530 – 1570 nm
Insertion Loss ≤2.1 dB ≤0.9 dB ≤0.9 dB 1.3 – 1.9 dB 0.9 – 1.3 dB
Isolationb  ≥25 dB ≥40 dB ≥40 dB 30 dB 32 dB
Directivity (1-3) ≥50 dB ≥50 dB ≥50 dB 40 dB 50 dB
Polarization Extinction Ratio ≥20 dB ≥22 dB ≥22 dB >20 dB >20 dB
Return Loss ≥50 dB ≥50 dB ≥50 dB 50 dB 55 db
Damage Threshold 300 mW 300 mW 300 mW 3 W 5 W
Mechanical Specifications  
Package Dimensions Ø5.5 mm x 35 mm 32.6 x 44.5 x 63.5 mmc 17.8 x 25.1 x 60.3 mmc
Fiber SM98-PS-U25D SM13-PS-U25D SM15-PS-U25D PM980-XP PANDA-Style PM Fiber,
Hytrel Loose Tube, Light in Slow Axis
PM1550-XP PANDA-Style PM Fiber,
Hytrel Loose Tube, Light in Slow Axis
Length 1.0 +0.075/-0.0 m 1.2 ± 0.2 m 1.2 ± 0.2 m
Operating Temperature -5 to 70 °C 10 to 50 °C 10 to 50 °C
Storage Temperature -40 to 85 °C -10 to 65 °C -20 to 70 °C
Operating Relative Humidity 20% - 80%
Storage Relative Humidity 20% - 80%
  • Specs based on no connector
  • Internal isolation, assumes connectorized fiber is well-matched
  • Dimensions do not include collimator or pigtails. See drawings for more information.

Posted Comments:
yoel.sebbag  (posted 2018-10-22 07:48:26.34)
Hi, my name is Yoel Sebbag and I am a Ph.D. student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Is it possible to design a custom PM circulator for a wavelength of 780nm with AFC/PC connector? If yes, how much would it cost? Thank you very much. Best regards, Yoel.
YLohia  (posted 2018-10-22 09:18:16.0)
Hello Yoel, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. Quotes for custom items can be requested by emailing techsupport@thorlabs.com. I will reach out to you directly to discuss the possibility of offering this.
florian.b.bayer  (posted 2018-10-12 13:45:55.95)
Could you specify the length of the fibers more clearly? From the specs table I would assume each of the 3 port fibers being 1m long, is this correct? Is there a difference for the version with connectors? Additionally, what is the reason for the rather large uncertainty of the fiber length, especially in the higher power versions?
nbayconich  (posted 2018-10-26 10:13:02.0)
Thank you for contacting Thorlabs. That is correct the length indicates the fiber length at each port measured from the circulator housing to either the fiber ferrule or bare fiber end so 1.0 meters long for each fiber for the CIR1064PM circulator. The OC-L-* circulators will all have a +/- 0.2 m tolerance, the design length of the OC-L-1064 IS 1.2 meters ±0.2m while the OC-L-1550 is 2.0 meters ±0.2m. The uncertainty of the fiber length is given to compensate for the amount of fiber needed to cut in the fiber connector termination process.

PM Optical Circulators, 1064 nm

  • Center Wavelength 1064 nm
  • Polarization-Maintaining Fiber With No Connectors, FC/PC Connectors, or FC/APC Connectors
  • Damage Threshold of 300 mW (CIR1064PM) or 3 W (OC-L-1064)
  • Fast Axis Blocking

Thorlabs' 1064 nm PM Fiber Optic Circulators are available unterminated, with FC/PC connectors, or with FC/APC connectors. The FC/PC and FC/APC connectors have a 2 mm narrow key. Our OC-L-1064 circulator is a high power circulator with a damage threshold of 3 W.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
OC-L-1064 Support Documentation
OC-L-1064High-Power PM Fiber Optic Circulator, 1053 – 1075 nm, No Connectors
$3,872.90
Today
CIR1064PM Support Documentation
CIR1064PMPM Fiber Optic Circulator, 1059 - 1069 nm, No Connectors
$772.63
Today
CIR1064PM-FC Support Documentation
CIR1064PM-FCPM Fiber Optic Circulator, 1059 - 1069 nm FC/PC
$806.18
Today
CIR1064PM-APC Support Documentation
CIR1064PM-APCPM Fiber Optic Circulator, 1059 - 1069 nm, FC/APC
$839.73
Today

PM Optical Circulators, 1310 nm

  • Center Wavelength 1310 nm
  • Polarization-Maintaining Fiber With No Connectors, FC/PC Connectors, or FC/APC Connectors
  • Damage Threshold of 300 mW
  • Fast Axis Blocking

Thorlabs' 1310 nm PM Fiber Optic Circulators are available unterminated, with FC/PC connectors, or with FC/APC connectors. The FC/PC and FC/APC connectors have a 2 mm narrow key.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
CIR1310PM Support Documentation
CIR1310PMPM Fiber Optic Circulator, 1280 - 1340 nm, No Connectors
$430.68
Today
CIR1310PM-FC Support Documentation
CIR1310PM-FCPM Fiber Optic Circulator, 1280 - 1340 nm FC/PC
$464.23
Today
CIR1310PM-APC Support Documentation
CIR1310PM-APCPM Fiber Optic Circulator, 1280 - 1340 nm, FC/APC
$613.56
Today

PM Optical Circulators, 1550 nm

  • Center Wavelength 1550 nm
  • Polarization-Maintaining Fiber With No Connectors, FC/PC Connectors, or FC/APC Connectors
  • Damage Threshold of 300 mW (CIR1550PM) or 5 W (OC-L-1550)
  • Fast Axis Blocking

Thorlabs' 1550 nm PM Fiber Optic Circulators are available unterminated, with FC/PC connectors, or with FC/APC connectors. The FC/PC and FC/APC connectors have a 2 mm narrow key. Our OC-L-1550 circulator is a high power circulator with a damage threshold of 5 W.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
OC-L-1550 Support Documentation
OC-L-1550High-Power PM Fiber Optic Circulator, 1530 – 1570 nm, No Connectors
$2,888.17
Today
CIR1550PM Support Documentation
CIR1550PMPM Fiber Optic Circulator, 1520 - 1580 nm, No Connectors
$541.06
Today
CIR1550PM-FC Support Documentation
CIR1550PM-FCPM Fiber Optic Circulator, 1520 - 1580 nm, PM Fiber, FC/PC
$574.61
Today
CIR1550PM-APC Support Documentation
CIR1550PM-APCPM Fiber Optic Circulator, 1520 - 1580 nm, FC/APC
$607.07
Today
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