Characterization of Fiber Tapers for Fiber Devices and Sensors

Title: Characterization of Fiber Tapers for Fiber Devices and Sensors
Authors: Wang, Xiaozhen
Date: 2012
Abstract: Fiber tapers have attracted much attention and have been successfully employed in various applications, ranging from resonators, filters, interferometers to sensors. This thesis studies the properties of fiber tapers for the purpose of making tapered-based devices and sensors in aerospace related application where small size and light weight are critical. This thesis includes theoretical derivation and experimental verifications of distributed mode coupling in tapered single-mode fibers (SMFs) with high-resolution optical frequency-domain reflectometry (OFDR) technique. The studies are realized with OFDR through phase detection of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI), which measures local refractive index change relative to the reference arm. The wavelength shifts converted by the phase change give the group index differences between the fundamental mode and higher-order modes of fiber tapers. The energy re-distribution is observed in Rayleigh backscatter amplitude as a function of fiber length with a ~13µm resolution over the entire fiber taper, and group index difference between core and cladding modes is measured with a spatial resolution of ~2cm by using autocorrelation data processing. The thermal and mechanical properties of fiber tapers have also been characterized with OFDR. The cross-correlation wavelength shift is related to the refractive index change of the modes. It is shown that residual stress induced by the tapering process results in the inhomogeneous thermal property, which can be significantly reduced by an annealing treatment. A fiber taper with a waist diameter of ~6µm has a force sensitivity of ~620.83nm/N, ~500 times higher than that of SMF. Furthermore, polarization-preserving character of tapered polarization-maintaining fibers (PMFs) is evaluated by OFDR-based distributed birefringence along tapered PMFs. Three tapered-based micro-fiber devices have been used as effective mode selecting components to build narrow-linewidth tunable Erbium-doped fiber ring lasers. The fabrication is easy and at a low cost. 1) a tapered fiber tip forms multimode interference mechanism; 2) a two-taper MZI has been demonstrated by splitting/combining the fundamental mode and higher-order modes through fiber tapers and is tuned by bending one taper waist; 3) a novel tunable fiber Fabry-Perot filter, consisting of a hollow-core photonic bandgap fiber and a micro-fiber, is employed in the reflection mode.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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