Abstract

Distributed group birefringence of tapered polarization-maintaining fibers (PMFs) is measured by employing a high-resolution optical frequency-domain reflectometry system. Autocorrelation data processing reveals distributed mode coupling between the fast and slow modes and higher-order modes excited by the tapering process along the taper region. The polarization-maintaining property of a tapered PMF is examined by distributed group birefringence along the tapered PMF with a spatial resolution of 1.25cm and a polarization-extinction ratio at the fiber taper output over the wavelength range of 1510–1570 nm. With a waist diameter of 80 μm, the polarization state of the launched light is maintained and the birefringence of the tapered PMF is slightly reduced from 3.28×104 to 2.89×104 at the taper waist. For both the waist diameters of 60 and 40 μm, mode coupling is observed in the form of significantly decreased birefringence by a factor of 10 at the taper waists.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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