We demonstrate a method for introducing and dynamically tuning birefringence in a microstructured optical fiber. Waveguide asymmetry in the fiber is obtained by selective filling of air holes with polymer, and tunability is achieved by temperature tuning of the polymer's index. The fiber is tapered such that the mode field expands into the cladding and efficiently overlaps the polymer that has been infused into the air holes, ensuring enhanced tunability and low splice loss. Experimental results are compared with numerical simulations made with the beam propagation method and confirm birefringence tuning that corresponds to a phase change of 6π for a 1-cm length of fiber.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
[Optical Society of America ]
C. Kerbage, P. Steinvurzel, P. Reyes, P. S. Westbrook, R. S. Windeler, A. Hale, and B. J. Eggleton*, "Highly tunable birefringent microstructured optical fiber," Opt. Lett. 27, 842-844 (2002)