Abstract

In this Letter, an optical fiber side-polishing process is proposed that is non-contact, versatile, and scalable. A ${{\rm CO}_2}$ laser, with carefully selected pulse parameters, is used to remove cladding material from the side of an optical fiber in a controlled manner. The resulting side-polished optical fiber has adiabatic polishing transitions and a flat uniform polished region. The technique provides a pristine polishing surface with an RMS surface roughness of less than 2 nm. Furthermore, in contrast to traditional side-polishing methods, the wear of hard tooling, the associated surface flaws, and issues with residual abrasive particulates are all negated. It is anticipated that this technique will provide a robust platform for the next generation of optical fiber devices that are based on in-fiber light–matter interaction with exotic materials, such as low-dimensional semi-conductors and topological insulators.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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Supplementary Material (1)

NameDescription
Supplement 1       CO2 laser-based side-polishing of silica optical fibers

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