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Proceedings Paper

Controllable cladding removal for in-fiber integrated optics applications
Author(s): Gregg T. Pugmire; Michael A. Jensen; Richard H. Selfridge
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents a novel technique to improve the design and implementation of in-fiber components by providing real time control of cladding removal by either polishing or etching. Cladding removal allows interaction between external materials and devices, and the light propagating in the fiber. Monitoring of the cladding removal process is achieved by observing the output from a section of fiber into which laser light has been focused. Resulting output graphs show that each specific fiber produces characteristic oscillations dependent on the number of modes propagating, the thickness of the cladding, the birefringence of the fiber, and the initial polarization state of the light. These oscillations result from changes in the effective indices of refraction of different modes as the cladding is removed. Electron micrographs of etched fiber surfaces show that unless proper cleaning and handling techniques are followed, the etched surface is scarred and pitted, leaving a poor quality substrate for device applications. However, if careful cleaning techniques and buffered hydrofluonc acid are used, the presence of these defects is drastically reduced and the resulting surface is smooth on a sub-micron scale. In order to understand better the characteristics of etched or polished fibers we have extended existing theoretical models which predict the effect of cladding removal on fiber birefnngence. Corroboration and use of these models allow more reliable monitoring and control of variables in the etching or polishing process such as cladding thickness, fiber alignment, acid concentration and temperature, and indices ofrefraction from fiber to fiber. Using the techniques presented in this paper, diffraction gratings are fabricated in etched D-type fibers. Other possible applications for this work include the production of variable wave plates, mode discriminators, polarizers, and the placement of detection and signal conditioning devices directly on the surface of a fiber.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 1990
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 1338, Optoelectronic Devices and Applications, (1 November 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.22971
Show Author Affiliations
Gregg T. Pugmire, Brigham Young Univ. (United States)
Michael A. Jensen, Brigham Young Univ. (United States)
Richard H. Selfridge, Brigham Young Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1338:
Optoelectronic Devices and Applications
Sriram Sriram, Editor(s)

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