Components based on optical fibers with internal electrodes

University dissertation from Stockholm : Fysik

Abstract: The topic of this thesis is development ofdevices fortelecom applications based on poled optical fibers. The focusis on two different specific functions, wavelength conversionand optical switching.Optical switching is demonstrated in a poled optical fiberat telecom wavelengths (~1.55 mm). The fiber has two holesrunning along the core in which electrodes are inserted. Thefiber device is made electro-optically active with a polingprocess in which a strong electric field is recorded in thefiber at a temperature of 270 o C. The fiber is then put in onearm of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer and by applying a voltageacross the two electrodes in the fiber the refractive index ismodulated and the optical signal switched from one output portto the other. So far the lowest switching voltage achieved is~1600 V which is too high for a commercial device, but byoptimizing the design of the fiber and the poling process aswitching voltage as low as 50 V is aimed for.A method to deposit a thin silver electrode inside the holesof an optical fiber is also demonstrated. A new way of creatingperiodic electrodes by periodically ablating the silver filmelectrode inside the holes of an optical fiber is also shown.The periodic electrodes can be used to create a quasi-phasematched (QPM) nonlinearity in the fiber which is useful forincreasing the efficiency of a nonlinear process such aswavelength conversion. Poling of a fiber with silver electrodesshowed a huge increase in the nonlinearity. This could be dueto a resonant enhancement caused by silver nanoclusters.Keywords:Poling, twinhole fiber, fiber electrodes,silver film electrodes, silver diffusion, quasi-phase matching,optical switching, frequency conversion, optical modulation