A novel concept is introduced that utilizes the scattering properties of zinc oxide nanorods to control light guidance and leakage inside optical fibers coated with nanorods. The effect of the hydrothermal growth conditions of the nanorods on light scattering and coupling to optical fiber are experimentally investigated. At optimum conditions, 5% of the incident light is side coupled to the cladding modes. This coupling scheme could be used in different applications such as distributed sensors and light combing. Implementation of the nanorods on fiber provides low cost and controllable nonlithography-based solutions for free space to fiber coupling. Higher coupling efficiencies can be achieved with further optimization.
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