We demonstrate that UV exposure of highly nonlinear, germano-silicate fibers can significantly broaden the infrared supercontinuum generated by femtosecond pulses in these fibers. Both simulations and measurements of the fiber chromatic dispersion show that UV-induced refractive index changes increase the waveguide dispersion by up to 5 ps/(nm-km) at 1570 nm and shift the dispersion zero by over 100 nm. We examine fibers with a range of UV exposure levels and show that the short wavelength edge of the supercontinuum can be continuously changed by more than 100 nm. We also show that the long wavelength edge is extended beyond that of the unexposed fiber. The resulting continuum spans from 0.85 to 2.6 µm. Cutback measurements show that the supercontinuum in the exposed fiber is generated in as little as 1 cm of fiber. A nonlinear Schrödinger equation (NLSE) model of the supercontinuum generation in the nonlinear fiber shows that the short wavelength behavior of the continuum is primarily controlled by changes in the fiber dispersion caused by the UV-induced change in refractive index of the fiber core.
© 2005 IEEE
Paul S. Westbrook, Jeffrey W. Nicholson, Kenneth S. Feder, and Andrew D. Yablon, "Improved Supercontinuum Generation Through UV Processing of Highly Nonlinear Fibers," J. Lightwave Technol. 23, 13- (2005)