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12 October 2005 UV transparent and tuneable on-fibre polymeric phase masks for fibre and planar waveguide Bragg grating fabrication
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UV transparent coatings have been used on optical fibres for direct writing of Bragg gratings without stripping-off the coating. In this paper we demonstrate a phase-mask as part of the coating of an optical fibre. We have fabricated these UV transparent, polymer phase-masks by moulding them on a holographic glass phase-mask in contact with optical fibres. These translation insensitive phase-masks have been used to fabricate fibre Bragg gratings by direct exposure to 266 nm UV radiation. Because of the nature of the polymer, the period of the phase-mask can be tuned by simple mechanical elongation, therefore changing the inscribed Bragg wavelength of the grating. We report the writing of multiple Bragg gratings in a fibre using the same polymeric phase mask. We have also used these phase-masks as stand-alone stretch tunable devices for use in a UV interferometer. These phase-masks are versatile and very cheap to replicate as they require a single phase mask. With a tunability of nearly a 1000 nm, we can write a grating with a Bragg wavelength anywhere in the full C and L telecommunication band, using a single phase mask. We believe that this technique will open new possibilities in sensing and Bragg grating fabrication of chirped and other novel filters by local deformation of the phase-mask. The concept of "dark gratings" will allow gratings to be fabricated without stripping the fibre at some time in the future, as and when required.
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Jerome Poulin and Raman Kashyap "UV transparent and tuneable on-fibre polymeric phase masks for fibre and planar waveguide Bragg grating fabrication", Proc. SPIE 5970, Photonic Applications in Devices and Communication Systems, 597012 (12 October 2005);

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