Abstract

In-fiber microchannels were fabricated directly in standard single mode fiber using the femtosecond laser inscribe and etch technique. This method of creating in-fiber microchannels offers great versatility, since it allows complex three-dimensional structures to be inscribed and then preferentially etched with hydrofluoric acid. In addition, inscription does not require a photosensitive fiber; the modification is induced through nonlinear processes triggered by an ultrashort laser pulse. Four in-fiber microchannel designs were experimentally investigated using this technique—microhole, microslot channel along the core, microslot channel perpendicular to the core and helical channel around the core. Each device design was evaluated through monitoring the optical spectral change while inserting a range of index matching oils into each microchannel; an R.I. sensitivity up to 1.55 dB/RIU was achieved in these initial tests. Furthermore, an all femtosecond laser inscribed Fabry–Pérot-based refractometer with an R.I. sensitivity of 2.75 nm/RIU was also demonstrated. The Fabry–Pérot refractometer was formed by positioning a microchannel between two femtosecond laser inscribed point-by-point fiber Bragg gratings.

© 2014 IEEE

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