Abstract

We measure the radial profile of the photoelastic coefficient C(r) in single-mode polymer optical fibers (POFs), and we determine the evolution of C(r) after annealing the fibers at temperatures from 40°C to 80°C. We demonstrate that C(r) in the fibers drawn from a preform without specific thermal pre-treatment changes and converges to values between 1.2 and 1.6×1012Pa1 following annealing at 80°C. The annealed fibers display a smoothened radial profile of C(r) and a lowered residual birefringence. In contrast, the mean value of C(r) of the fiber drawn from a preform that has been pre-annealed remains constant after our annealing process and is significantly higher, i.e., 4×1012Pa1. The annealing process decreases the residual birefringence to a lower extent as well. These measurements indicate the impact of annealing on the thermal stability of the photoelastic coefficient of POFs, which is an essential characteristic in view of developing POF-based thermo-mechanical sensors.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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