We present a method for fabricating an in-fiber electro-optic polymer waveguide within a D-shaped optical fiber. A combined process of selective chemical etching and spin coating creates a 2-cm in-fiber poly(methyl methacrylate)-DR1 dye polymer waveguide section with an overall insertion loss of ~1.6 dB at 1550 nm. Numerical simulations show that, for in-fiber polymer waveguides to have low loss, the polymer layer’s thickness must be kept below a certain value so that it will not support slab waveguide modes. Long transition regions between the unetched fiber and the polymer waveguide section also reduce loss. We analyze the efficiency of an in-fiber polymer waveguide by simulating its theoretical performance as an electro-optic modulator.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
(060.2340) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics components
(130.2790) Integrated optics : Guided waves
(230.4110) Optical devices : Modulators
(230.7390) Optical devices : Waveguides, planar
Kevin H. Smith, Doug J. Markos, Benjamin L. Ipson, Stephen M. Schultz, Richard H. Selfridge, John P. Barber, Kevin J. Campbell, Thomas D. Monte, and Richard B. Dyott, "Fabrication and Analysis of a Low-Loss In-Fiber Active Polymer Waveguide," Appl. Opt. 43, 933-939 (2004)