Abstract

We report on the fabrication of a birefringent side-hole polymer optical fiber with an elliptical core made of polymethyl metacrylate–polystyrene (PMMA/PS) copolymer and pure PMMA cladding. The fiber core is located in a narrow PMMA bridge separating the holes. Two fibers with different bridge thickness were fabricated and characterized. We demonstrate, experimentally and numerically, that, by narrowing the bridge between the holes, one can increase simultaneously the fiber birefringence and the polarimetric sensitivity to hydrostatic pressure. In the fiber with the bridge as narrow as 5 μm, we achieved a record-high polarimetric sensitivity to hydrostatic pressure ranging between 175 and 140 rad/MPa/m in the spectral range of 600–830 nm. The phase modal birefringence in this fiber is also high and exceeds 3×105 at 600 nm, which results in small polarization cross talk.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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