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25 April 2012 An investigation into the wavelength stability of polymer optical fibre Bragg gratings
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The inscription of Bragg gratings has been demonstrated in PMMA-based polymer optical fibre. The water affinity of PMMA can introduce significant wavelength change in a polymer optical fibre Bragg grating (POFBG). In polymer optical fibre losses are much higher than with silica fibre. Very strong absorption bands related to higher harmonics of vibrations of the C-H bond dominate throughout the visible and near infrared. Molecular vibration in substances generates heat, which is referred to as the thermal effect of molecular vibration. This means that a large part of the absorption of optical energy in those spectral bands will convert into thermal energy, which eventually drives water content out of the polymer fibre and reduces the wavelength of POFBG. In this work we have investigated the wavelength stability of POFBGs in different circumstances. The experiment has shown that the characteristic wavelength of a POFBG starts decreasing after a light source is applied to it. This decrease continues until equilibrium inside the fibre is established, depending on the initial water content inside the fibre, the surrounding humidity, the optical power applied, and the fibre size. Our investigation has shown that POFBGs operating at around 850 nm show much smaller wavelength reduction than those operating at around 1550 nm in the same fibre; POFBGs with different diameters show different changes; POFBGs powered by a low level light source, or operating in a very dry environment are least affected by this thermal effect.
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W. Zhang, A. Abang, D. J. Webb, and G.-D. Peng "An investigation into the wavelength stability of polymer optical fibre Bragg gratings", Proc. SPIE 8426, Microstructured and Specialty Optical Fibres, 842619 (25 April 2012);

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