24 October 2005 Light-induced self-written waveguides for large-core optical fibers
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Abstract
A new fabrication technique is proposed for the fabrication of optical waveguides for use in optical communication modules with large-core optical fibers. The proposed technique employs a mixed photopolymerizable resin containing two kinds of photopolymerizable monomers that are different in terms of both refractive index and spectral sensitivity. Visible light is irradiated into the resin through an optical fiber in order by take advantage of the self-trapping effect to form the core portion. Only the lowest refractive index monomer is polymerized, with the reaction proceeding from the end of the fiber tip. After the irradiation is over, a concentration gradient is induced in the low refractive index monomer due to the selective area polymerization, which brings about a counter-diffusion phenomenon of the monomeric materials. Diffusion of the low refractive index monomer causes the high refractive index monomer to move out into the region surrounding the core portion. All of the residual monomers are subsequently cured by exposure to UV light. The region with decreased concentration of high refractive index monomer forms a cladding layer. The resultant refractive index profiles of the waveguides were experimentally observed to be "W-shaped". The measured propagation loss of a 700-μm-diameter waveguide was 1.7dB/cm at 0.68-μm wavelength. We are convinced that this technology could serve to automate optical fiber connection and packaging processes in the assembly of optical waveguide modules. This technology is especially useful in short-haul optical communication systems requiring a large-core optical fiber.
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Tatsuya Yamashita, Tatsuya Yamashita, Manabu Kagami, Manabu Kagami, } "Light-induced self-written waveguides for large-core optical fibers", Proc. SPIE 6014, Active and Passive Optical Components for WDM Communications V, 60140M (24 October 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.631294; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.631294
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