Abstract

Femtosecond laser-fabricated waveguides have been formed into helical paths throughout the cladding of single-mode optical fibers to demonstrate a strain-independent fiber torsion sensor. A comparison between a Bragg grating sensor and a Mach–Zehnder based on helical waveguides (HWs) showed a much weaker twist sensitivity of 1.5 pm/(rad/m) for the grating in contrast with a value of 261 pm/(rad/m) for the interferometer. The HW geometry provided an unambiguous determination of the rotational direction of the twist while facilitating a convenient and efficient means for optical coupling into the single-mode core of the fiber. The flexible three-dimensional writing by the femtosecond laser fabrication method enabled the direct inscription of compact and robust optical cladding devices without the need for combining or splicing multiple-fiber segments.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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