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25 April 2012 Preparation and characterisation of optical fiber tips for nanoscopic applications
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Abstract
Silica-based fiber tips are used in a variety of spectroscopic, micro- or nanoscopic optical sensor applications. The efficiency of such measurement systems is dependent on the tip geometry and the diameter of the tapered fiber end. In the present study we investigated the preparation of geometrically predefined, nanoscaled fiber tips by taking advantage of the dopant concentration profiles of highly doped step-index fibers. For this purpose, a gas phase etching process using hydrofluoric acid (HF) vapor was applied. The shaping of the fiber tips was based on very different etching rates as a result of the doping characteristics of specific optical fibers. Technological studies on the influence of the etching gas atmosphere on the temporal tip shaping and the final geometry were performed using undoped and doped silica fibers. The influence of the doping characteristics was investigated in phosphorus-, germanium-, fluorine- and boron-doped glass fibers. Narrow exposed as well as protected internal fiber tips in various shapes and tip radiuses down to less than 15 nm were achieved and characterized geometrically and topologically. For investigations of surface plasmon resonance effects the fiber tips were coated with nanometer-sized silver layers by means of vapour deposition and finally subjected to an annealing treatment.
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Jörg Bierlich, Jens Kobelke, David Brand, Konstantin Kirsch, Jan Dellith, and Hartmut Bartelt "Preparation and characterisation of optical fiber tips for nanoscopic applications", Proc. SPIE 8426, Microstructured and Specialty Optical Fibres, 842602 (25 April 2012); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.921460
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