We report the development of a fiber taper and fused-fiber coupler fabrication rig that uses a scanning, focused, CO<sub>2</sub> laser beam as the heat source. As a result of the pointlike heat source and the versatility associated with scanning, tapers of any transition shape and uniform taper waist can be produced. Tapers with both a linear shape and an exponential transition shape were measured. The taper waist uniformity was measured and shown to be better than ∓1.2%. The rig was also used to make fused-fiber couplers. Couplers with excess loss below −0.1 dB were routinely produced.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
(060.1810) Fiber optics and optical communications : Buffers, couplers, routers, switches, and multiplexers
(060.2310) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics
(060.2340) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics components
(220.0220) Optical design and fabrication : Optical design and fabrication
(220.4610) Optical design and fabrication : Optical fabrication
Timothy E. Dimmick, George Kakarantzas, Timothy A. Birks, and Philip St. J. Russell, "Carbon Dioxide Laser Fabrication of Fused-Fiber Couplers and Tapers," Appl. Opt. 38, 6845-6848 (1999)