We show that a hemispherically shaped tip on an air-clad optical fiber simultaneously works as a high-numerical-aperture lens and efficiently collects photons from an emitter placed near the beam waist into the fundamental guided mode. Numerical simulations show that the coupling efficiency reaches about 25%. We have constructed a confocal microscope with such a lensed fiber. The measurements are in good agreement with the numerical simulation. The monolithic structure with a high-photon-collection efficiency will provide a flexible substitute for a conventional lens system in various experiments such as single-atom trapping with a tightly focused optical trap.
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