This paper proposes a novel technique for automatic waveguide formation by means of the self-trapping effect of optical fiber irradiation into a photopolymerizing resin. We investigate experimentally the phenomenon of thin cladding layer formation surrounding the core following the core creation. In the proposed technique, a counterdiffusion effect involving polymerizing monomers via the core/cladding interface causes enrichment of a low refractive index monomer, and a resultant"W-shaped"refractive index profile is realized. The measured propagation loss of the fabricated waveguide is 1.7 dB/cm at 0.68 µm wavelength. This technology is appropriate for the fabrication of large-core optical waveguides of greater than 0.5 mm in diameter and is useful for automating the optical fiber connection and packaging process by virtue of being an all-passive optically induced process.
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