Abstract

We have embedded thin tapered fibers (with diameters down to 1μm) in silica aerogel with low loss. The aerogel is rigid but behaves refractively like air, protecting the taper without disturbing light propagation along it. This enables a new class of fiber devices exploiting volume evanescent interactions with the aerogel itself or with dopants or gases in the pores.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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