Abstract

We present a broadband single-mode bi-conical microfiber coupler (MFC) with a specifically designed transition region that effectively suppresses any higher-order modes present at the input fiber and provides efficient power splitting into the fundamental mode at the two output ports. As a practical example, single-mode 3-dB splitting operation over a broad spectral window (400~1700 nm) was demonstrated for a very thin taper waist (~1.5μm) MFC made from conventional telecom optical fibers.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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  1. L. Tong, R. R. Gattass, J. B. Ashcom, S. He, J. Lou, M. Shen, I. Maxwell and E. Mazur, "Subwavelength-diameter silica wires for low-loss optical wave guiding," Nature 426, 816-819 (2003).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. G. Brambilla, V. Finazzi, and D. J. Richardson, "Ultra-low-loss optical fiber nanotapers," Opt. Express 12, 2258-2263 (2004). http://www.opticsinfobase.org/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-12-10-2258.
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. M. Sumetsky, Y. Dulashko, P. Domachuk, and B. J. Eggleton, "Thinnest optical waveguide: experimental test," Opt. Lett. 32, 754-756 (2007).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. D. -I. Yeom, E. C. Mägi, M. R. E. Lamont, M. A. F. Roelens, L. Fu, and B. J. Eggleton, "Low-threshold supercontinuum generation in highly nonlinear chalcogenide nanowires," Opt. Lett. 33, 660-662 (2008) http://www.opticsinfobase.org/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-33-7-660
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. V. I. Balykin, K. Hakuta, F. Le Kien, J. Q. Liang, and M. Morinaga, "Atom trapping and guiding with a subwavelength-diameter optical fiber," Phys. Rev. A 70, 011401 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  6. F. Xu, P. Horak, and G. Brambilla, "Optical microfiber coil resonator refractometric sensor," Opt. Express. 15, 7888-7893 (2007). http://www.opticsinfobase.org/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-15-12-7888.
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. M. Sumetsky, Y. Dulashko, and A. Hale, "Fabrication and study of bent and coiled free silica nanowires: Self-coupling microloop optical interferometer," Opt. Express 12, 3521-3531 (2004) http://www.opticsinfobase.org/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-12-15-3521
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. J. C. Knight, G. Cheung, F. Jacques, and T. A. Birks, "Phase-matched excitation of whispering-gallery-mode resonances by a fiber taper," Opt. Lett. 22, 1129-1131 (1997).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. Y. Jung, G. Brambilla, D. J. Richardson, "Broadband single-mode operation of standard optical fibers by using a sub-wavelength optical wire filter," Opt. Express 16, 14661-14667 (2008). http://www.opticsinfobase.org/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-16-19-14661.
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. J. Nilsson, W. A. Clarkson, R. Selvas, J. K. Sahu, P. W. Turner, S. -U. Alam, and A. B. Grudinin, "High-power wavelength-tunable cladding-pumped rare-earth-doped silica fiber lasers," Opt. Fiber Technol. 10, 5-30 (2004).
    [CrossRef]
  11. O. S. Wolfbeis, "Fiber-optic chemical sensors and biosensors," Anal. Chem. 74, 2663-2678 (2002).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. B. A. Flusberg, E. D. Cocker, W. Piyawattanametha, J. C. Jung, E. L. M. Cheung, and M. J. Schnitzer, "Fiber-optic fluorescence imaging," Nature Methods 2, 941-950 (2005).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. L. Tong, J. Lou, E. Mazur, "Single-mode guiding properties of subwavelength-diameter silica and silicon wire waveguides," Opt. Express 12, 1025-1035 (2004). http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-12-6-1025
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. K. Okamoto, Fundamentals of Optical Waveguides (Elsevier Academic, London, 2006).
  15. Francois Gonthier, "Fabrication of multiplexing and demultiplexing single-mode fiber optic couplers," U.S. Patent No. 6,763,685 (2004).
  16. B. S. Kawasaki, K. O. Hill, and R. G. Lamont, "Biconical-taper single-mode fiber coupler," Opt. Lett. 6, 327-328 (1981).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. F. Bilodeau, K. O. Hill, S. Faucher, and D. C. Johnson, "Low-loss highly overcoupled fused couplers: Fabrication and sensitivity to external pressure," J. Lightwave Technol. 6, 1476- 1482 (1988).
    [CrossRef]
  18. M. S. Yataki, D. N. Payne, M. P. Varnham, "All-fibre polarizing beamsplitter," Electron. Lett. 21, 249-251 (1985).
    [CrossRef]
  19. J. D. Love and M. Hall, "Polarization modulation in long couplers," Electron. Lett. 21, 519-625 (1985).

2008

2007

2005

B. A. Flusberg, E. D. Cocker, W. Piyawattanametha, J. C. Jung, E. L. M. Cheung, and M. J. Schnitzer, "Fiber-optic fluorescence imaging," Nature Methods 2, 941-950 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2004

2003

L. Tong, R. R. Gattass, J. B. Ashcom, S. He, J. Lou, M. Shen, I. Maxwell and E. Mazur, "Subwavelength-diameter silica wires for low-loss optical wave guiding," Nature 426, 816-819 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2002

O. S. Wolfbeis, "Fiber-optic chemical sensors and biosensors," Anal. Chem. 74, 2663-2678 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1997

1988

F. Bilodeau, K. O. Hill, S. Faucher, and D. C. Johnson, "Low-loss highly overcoupled fused couplers: Fabrication and sensitivity to external pressure," J. Lightwave Technol. 6, 1476- 1482 (1988).
[CrossRef]

1985

M. S. Yataki, D. N. Payne, M. P. Varnham, "All-fibre polarizing beamsplitter," Electron. Lett. 21, 249-251 (1985).
[CrossRef]

J. D. Love and M. Hall, "Polarization modulation in long couplers," Electron. Lett. 21, 519-625 (1985).

1981

Alam, S. -U.

J. Nilsson, W. A. Clarkson, R. Selvas, J. K. Sahu, P. W. Turner, S. -U. Alam, and A. B. Grudinin, "High-power wavelength-tunable cladding-pumped rare-earth-doped silica fiber lasers," Opt. Fiber Technol. 10, 5-30 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Ashcom, J. B.

L. Tong, R. R. Gattass, J. B. Ashcom, S. He, J. Lou, M. Shen, I. Maxwell and E. Mazur, "Subwavelength-diameter silica wires for low-loss optical wave guiding," Nature 426, 816-819 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Balykin, V. I.

V. I. Balykin, K. Hakuta, F. Le Kien, J. Q. Liang, and M. Morinaga, "Atom trapping and guiding with a subwavelength-diameter optical fiber," Phys. Rev. A 70, 011401 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Bilodeau, F.

F. Bilodeau, K. O. Hill, S. Faucher, and D. C. Johnson, "Low-loss highly overcoupled fused couplers: Fabrication and sensitivity to external pressure," J. Lightwave Technol. 6, 1476- 1482 (1988).
[CrossRef]

Birks, T. A.

Brambilla, G.

Cheung, E. L. M.

B. A. Flusberg, E. D. Cocker, W. Piyawattanametha, J. C. Jung, E. L. M. Cheung, and M. J. Schnitzer, "Fiber-optic fluorescence imaging," Nature Methods 2, 941-950 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cheung, G.

Clarkson, W. A.

J. Nilsson, W. A. Clarkson, R. Selvas, J. K. Sahu, P. W. Turner, S. -U. Alam, and A. B. Grudinin, "High-power wavelength-tunable cladding-pumped rare-earth-doped silica fiber lasers," Opt. Fiber Technol. 10, 5-30 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Cocker, E. D.

B. A. Flusberg, E. D. Cocker, W. Piyawattanametha, J. C. Jung, E. L. M. Cheung, and M. J. Schnitzer, "Fiber-optic fluorescence imaging," Nature Methods 2, 941-950 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Domachuk, P.

Dulashko, Y.

Eggleton, B. J.

Faucher, S.

F. Bilodeau, K. O. Hill, S. Faucher, and D. C. Johnson, "Low-loss highly overcoupled fused couplers: Fabrication and sensitivity to external pressure," J. Lightwave Technol. 6, 1476- 1482 (1988).
[CrossRef]

Finazzi, V.

Flusberg, B. A.

B. A. Flusberg, E. D. Cocker, W. Piyawattanametha, J. C. Jung, E. L. M. Cheung, and M. J. Schnitzer, "Fiber-optic fluorescence imaging," Nature Methods 2, 941-950 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Fu, L.

Gattass, R. R.

L. Tong, R. R. Gattass, J. B. Ashcom, S. He, J. Lou, M. Shen, I. Maxwell and E. Mazur, "Subwavelength-diameter silica wires for low-loss optical wave guiding," Nature 426, 816-819 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Grudinin, A. B.

J. Nilsson, W. A. Clarkson, R. Selvas, J. K. Sahu, P. W. Turner, S. -U. Alam, and A. B. Grudinin, "High-power wavelength-tunable cladding-pumped rare-earth-doped silica fiber lasers," Opt. Fiber Technol. 10, 5-30 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Hakuta, K.

V. I. Balykin, K. Hakuta, F. Le Kien, J. Q. Liang, and M. Morinaga, "Atom trapping and guiding with a subwavelength-diameter optical fiber," Phys. Rev. A 70, 011401 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Hale, A.

Hall, M.

J. D. Love and M. Hall, "Polarization modulation in long couplers," Electron. Lett. 21, 519-625 (1985).

He, S.

L. Tong, R. R. Gattass, J. B. Ashcom, S. He, J. Lou, M. Shen, I. Maxwell and E. Mazur, "Subwavelength-diameter silica wires for low-loss optical wave guiding," Nature 426, 816-819 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Hill, K. O.

F. Bilodeau, K. O. Hill, S. Faucher, and D. C. Johnson, "Low-loss highly overcoupled fused couplers: Fabrication and sensitivity to external pressure," J. Lightwave Technol. 6, 1476- 1482 (1988).
[CrossRef]

B. S. Kawasaki, K. O. Hill, and R. G. Lamont, "Biconical-taper single-mode fiber coupler," Opt. Lett. 6, 327-328 (1981).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Horak, P.

F. Xu, P. Horak, and G. Brambilla, "Optical microfiber coil resonator refractometric sensor," Opt. Express. 15, 7888-7893 (2007). http://www.opticsinfobase.org/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-15-12-7888.
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Jacques, F.

Johnson, D. C.

F. Bilodeau, K. O. Hill, S. Faucher, and D. C. Johnson, "Low-loss highly overcoupled fused couplers: Fabrication and sensitivity to external pressure," J. Lightwave Technol. 6, 1476- 1482 (1988).
[CrossRef]

Jung, J. C.

B. A. Flusberg, E. D. Cocker, W. Piyawattanametha, J. C. Jung, E. L. M. Cheung, and M. J. Schnitzer, "Fiber-optic fluorescence imaging," Nature Methods 2, 941-950 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Jung, Y.

Kawasaki, B. S.

Knight, J. C.

Lamont, M. R. E.

Lamont, R. G.

Le Kien, F.

V. I. Balykin, K. Hakuta, F. Le Kien, J. Q. Liang, and M. Morinaga, "Atom trapping and guiding with a subwavelength-diameter optical fiber," Phys. Rev. A 70, 011401 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Liang, J. Q.

V. I. Balykin, K. Hakuta, F. Le Kien, J. Q. Liang, and M. Morinaga, "Atom trapping and guiding with a subwavelength-diameter optical fiber," Phys. Rev. A 70, 011401 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Lou, J.

L. Tong, J. Lou, E. Mazur, "Single-mode guiding properties of subwavelength-diameter silica and silicon wire waveguides," Opt. Express 12, 1025-1035 (2004). http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-12-6-1025
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

L. Tong, R. R. Gattass, J. B. Ashcom, S. He, J. Lou, M. Shen, I. Maxwell and E. Mazur, "Subwavelength-diameter silica wires for low-loss optical wave guiding," Nature 426, 816-819 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Love, J. D.

J. D. Love and M. Hall, "Polarization modulation in long couplers," Electron. Lett. 21, 519-625 (1985).

Mägi, E. C.

Maxwell, I.

L. Tong, R. R. Gattass, J. B. Ashcom, S. He, J. Lou, M. Shen, I. Maxwell and E. Mazur, "Subwavelength-diameter silica wires for low-loss optical wave guiding," Nature 426, 816-819 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Mazur, E.

L. Tong, J. Lou, E. Mazur, "Single-mode guiding properties of subwavelength-diameter silica and silicon wire waveguides," Opt. Express 12, 1025-1035 (2004). http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-12-6-1025
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

L. Tong, R. R. Gattass, J. B. Ashcom, S. He, J. Lou, M. Shen, I. Maxwell and E. Mazur, "Subwavelength-diameter silica wires for low-loss optical wave guiding," Nature 426, 816-819 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Morinaga, M.

V. I. Balykin, K. Hakuta, F. Le Kien, J. Q. Liang, and M. Morinaga, "Atom trapping and guiding with a subwavelength-diameter optical fiber," Phys. Rev. A 70, 011401 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Nilsson, J.

J. Nilsson, W. A. Clarkson, R. Selvas, J. K. Sahu, P. W. Turner, S. -U. Alam, and A. B. Grudinin, "High-power wavelength-tunable cladding-pumped rare-earth-doped silica fiber lasers," Opt. Fiber Technol. 10, 5-30 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Payne, D. N.

M. S. Yataki, D. N. Payne, M. P. Varnham, "All-fibre polarizing beamsplitter," Electron. Lett. 21, 249-251 (1985).
[CrossRef]

Piyawattanametha, W.

B. A. Flusberg, E. D. Cocker, W. Piyawattanametha, J. C. Jung, E. L. M. Cheung, and M. J. Schnitzer, "Fiber-optic fluorescence imaging," Nature Methods 2, 941-950 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Richardson, D. J.

Roelens, M. A. F.

Sahu, J. K.

J. Nilsson, W. A. Clarkson, R. Selvas, J. K. Sahu, P. W. Turner, S. -U. Alam, and A. B. Grudinin, "High-power wavelength-tunable cladding-pumped rare-earth-doped silica fiber lasers," Opt. Fiber Technol. 10, 5-30 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Schnitzer, M. J.

B. A. Flusberg, E. D. Cocker, W. Piyawattanametha, J. C. Jung, E. L. M. Cheung, and M. J. Schnitzer, "Fiber-optic fluorescence imaging," Nature Methods 2, 941-950 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Selvas, R.

J. Nilsson, W. A. Clarkson, R. Selvas, J. K. Sahu, P. W. Turner, S. -U. Alam, and A. B. Grudinin, "High-power wavelength-tunable cladding-pumped rare-earth-doped silica fiber lasers," Opt. Fiber Technol. 10, 5-30 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Shen, M.

L. Tong, R. R. Gattass, J. B. Ashcom, S. He, J. Lou, M. Shen, I. Maxwell and E. Mazur, "Subwavelength-diameter silica wires for low-loss optical wave guiding," Nature 426, 816-819 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Sumetsky, M.

Tong, L.

L. Tong, J. Lou, E. Mazur, "Single-mode guiding properties of subwavelength-diameter silica and silicon wire waveguides," Opt. Express 12, 1025-1035 (2004). http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-12-6-1025
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

L. Tong, R. R. Gattass, J. B. Ashcom, S. He, J. Lou, M. Shen, I. Maxwell and E. Mazur, "Subwavelength-diameter silica wires for low-loss optical wave guiding," Nature 426, 816-819 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Turner, P. W.

J. Nilsson, W. A. Clarkson, R. Selvas, J. K. Sahu, P. W. Turner, S. -U. Alam, and A. B. Grudinin, "High-power wavelength-tunable cladding-pumped rare-earth-doped silica fiber lasers," Opt. Fiber Technol. 10, 5-30 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Varnham, M. P.

M. S. Yataki, D. N. Payne, M. P. Varnham, "All-fibre polarizing beamsplitter," Electron. Lett. 21, 249-251 (1985).
[CrossRef]

Wolfbeis, O. S.

O. S. Wolfbeis, "Fiber-optic chemical sensors and biosensors," Anal. Chem. 74, 2663-2678 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Xu, F.

F. Xu, P. Horak, and G. Brambilla, "Optical microfiber coil resonator refractometric sensor," Opt. Express. 15, 7888-7893 (2007). http://www.opticsinfobase.org/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-15-12-7888.
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Yataki, M. S.

M. S. Yataki, D. N. Payne, M. P. Varnham, "All-fibre polarizing beamsplitter," Electron. Lett. 21, 249-251 (1985).
[CrossRef]

Yeom, D. -I.

Anal. Chem.

O. S. Wolfbeis, "Fiber-optic chemical sensors and biosensors," Anal. Chem. 74, 2663-2678 (2002).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Electron. Lett.

M. S. Yataki, D. N. Payne, M. P. Varnham, "All-fibre polarizing beamsplitter," Electron. Lett. 21, 249-251 (1985).
[CrossRef]

J. D. Love and M. Hall, "Polarization modulation in long couplers," Electron. Lett. 21, 519-625 (1985).

J. Lightwave Technol.

F. Bilodeau, K. O. Hill, S. Faucher, and D. C. Johnson, "Low-loss highly overcoupled fused couplers: Fabrication and sensitivity to external pressure," J. Lightwave Technol. 6, 1476- 1482 (1988).
[CrossRef]

Nature

L. Tong, R. R. Gattass, J. B. Ashcom, S. He, J. Lou, M. Shen, I. Maxwell and E. Mazur, "Subwavelength-diameter silica wires for low-loss optical wave guiding," Nature 426, 816-819 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Nature Methods

B. A. Flusberg, E. D. Cocker, W. Piyawattanametha, J. C. Jung, E. L. M. Cheung, and M. J. Schnitzer, "Fiber-optic fluorescence imaging," Nature Methods 2, 941-950 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Opt. Express

Opt. Express.

F. Xu, P. Horak, and G. Brambilla, "Optical microfiber coil resonator refractometric sensor," Opt. Express. 15, 7888-7893 (2007). http://www.opticsinfobase.org/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-15-12-7888.
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Opt. Fiber Technol.

J. Nilsson, W. A. Clarkson, R. Selvas, J. K. Sahu, P. W. Turner, S. -U. Alam, and A. B. Grudinin, "High-power wavelength-tunable cladding-pumped rare-earth-doped silica fiber lasers," Opt. Fiber Technol. 10, 5-30 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Lett.

Phys. Rev. A

V. I. Balykin, K. Hakuta, F. Le Kien, J. Q. Liang, and M. Morinaga, "Atom trapping and guiding with a subwavelength-diameter optical fiber," Phys. Rev. A 70, 011401 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Other

K. Okamoto, Fundamentals of Optical Waveguides (Elsevier Academic, London, 2006).

Francois Gonthier, "Fabrication of multiplexing and demultiplexing single-mode fiber optic couplers," U.S. Patent No. 6,763,685 (2004).

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Figures (5)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

A schematic diagram of the microfiber coupler (MFC). The biconical MFC with specially designed transition taper and very-thin taper waist effectively suppress any higher-order modes at the input fiber and provides efficient power splitting into the fundamental mode at the two output fibers.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Microscopic (a) top- and (b) cross-sectional view of the fibers along the microfiber coupler.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Spectral response of microfiber coupler: Transmission spectra of the MFC at (a) output port3 and (b) port4 for different MFC outer diameters during a single taper fabrication process. Both higher-order modes filtering effect [refer to figures of Ref. 9] and coupling characteristics between two optical fibers can be observed during the MFC fabrication process. A 50:50 power splitting ratio was obtained for the whole range of scanned wavelengths for the MFC with 1.5 μm diameter. In (b) the spectrum at 125μm represents the fiber transmission when light is launched into port4 before the MFC fabrication and which is reported only as a reference to identify the maximum transmission level.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

(a) Comparison between the transmission spectra of the 1.5μm MFC at: the input (in black) and two output ports (in red, blue). (b) Relative coupled power at λ=1.55μm as a function of the pulling length and taper waist diameter.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Far-field imaging of MFC at an input (a) and two output ports (b: port3, c: port4).

Metrics