A combination of controlled annealing and characterization by scanning probe microscopy (SPM) is used to demonstrate that the refractive-index profile of a commercially available silica-based optical fiber can be accurately reconfigured for use as an evanescent field sensor. The process relies on the controlled relocation of the silica glass dopants across the fiber cross section through heat treatment and the accurate measurement of the resulting dopant redistribution with SPM and differential etching techniques. The effect of variable annealing along a length of fiber is to produce a mode transformer to couple light from a laser source into the sensing region of the fiber.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
(060.2270) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber characterization
(060.2370) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics sensors
(180.5810) Microscopy : Scanning microscopy
(290.1990) Scattering : Diffusion
(290.3030) Scattering : Index measurements
Brant C. Gibson, Shane T. Huntington, John D. Love, Tom G. Ryan, Laurence W. Cahill, and Darrell M. Elton, "Controlled Modification and Direct Characterization of Multimode-Fiber Refractive-Index Profiles," Appl. Opt. 42, 627-633 (2003)