We demonstrate an efficient coupling of guided light of 1550 nm from a standard single-mode optical fiber to a silicon waveguide using the finite-difference time-domain method and propose a fabrication method of tapered optical fibers for efficient power transfer to silicon-based photonic integrated circuits. Adiabatically-varying fiber core diameters with a small tapering angle can be obtained using the tube etching method with hydrofluoric acid and standard single-mode fibers covered by plastic jackets. The optical power transmission of the fundamental HE11 and TE-like modes between the fiber tapers and the inversely-tapered silicon waveguides was calculated with the finite-difference time-domain method to be more than 99% at a wavelength of 1550 nm. The proposed method for adiabatic fiber tapering can be applied in quantum optics, silicon-based photonic integrated circuits, and nanophotonics. Furthermore, efficient coupling within the telecommunication C-band is a promising approach for quantum networks in the future.
We report a directional-coupler-based refractive index sensor and its cost-effective fabrication method using hydrofluoric acid droplet wet-etching and surface-tension-driven liquid flows. The proposed fiber sensor consists of a pair of twisted tapered optical fibers with low excess losses. The fiber cores in the etched microfiber region are exposed to the surrounding medium for efficient interaction with the guided light. We observe that the etching-based low-loss fiber-optic sensors can measure the water droplet volume by detecting the refractive index changes of the surrounding medium around the etched fiber core region.