Abstract

A new method for the fabrication of polymer waveguides between two optical fibers using a spatially controlled photopolymerization is reported. By taking advantage of the self-guiding effect of light through a photopolymerizable medium, polymer waveguides perfectly aligned with the fiber cores and strongly anchored to their surfaces are fabricated. The process is characterized by following in situ the coupling efficiency of a nonactinic laser source. Examples of waveguides exhibiting good coupling efficiency and high flexibility are given. By selecting the suitable monomers and adjusting the photonic parameters, the optical and mechanical waveguide properties (diameter, length, refractive index, rigidity, and flexibility) can be controlled in view of optical sensor applications.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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