A photolithographic method is described for fabricating refractive index Bragg gratings in photosensitive optical fiber by using a special phase mask grating made of silica glass. A KrF excimer laser beam (249 nm) at normal incidence is modulated spatially by the phase mask grating. The diffracted light, which forms a periodic, high-contrast intensity pattern with half the phase mask grating pitch, photoimprints a refractive index modulation into the core of photosensitive fiber placed behind, in proximity, and parallel, to the mask; the phase mask grating striations are oriented normal to the fiber axis. This method of fabricating in-fiber Bragg gratings is flexible, simple to use, results in reduced mechanical sensitivity of the grating writing apparatus and is functional even with low spatial and temporal coherence laser sources.
We report on the fabrication of a chirped, phase mask that was used to create a fiber Bragg grating(FBG)device for the compensation of chromatic dispersion in longhaul optical transmission networks.Electron beamlithography was used to expose the grating onto a resist-coated quartz plate. After etching, this phase mask was used to holographically expose an index grating into the fiber core [K. O. Hill, F. Bilodeau, D. C. Johnson, and J. Albert, Appl. Phys. Lett.62, 1035 (1993)]. The linear increase in the grating period, “chirp,” is only 0.55 nm over the 10 cm grating. This is too small to be defined by computer aided design and a digital deflection system. Instead, the chirp was incorporated by repeatedly rescaling the analog electronics used for field size calibration. Special attention must be paid to minimize any field stitching and exposure artifacts. This was done by using overlapping fields in a “voting” method. As a result, each grating line is exposed by the accumulation of three overlapping exposures at 1/3 dose. This translates any abrupt stitching error into a small but uniform change in the line-to-space ratio of the grating. The phase mask was used with the double-exposure photoprinting technique [K. O. Hill, F. Bilodeau, B. Malo, T. Kitagawa, S. Thériault, D. C. Johnson, J. Albert, and K. Takiguchi, Opt. Lett. 19, 1314 (1994)]: a KrF excimer laser holographically imprints an apodized chirped Bragg grating in a hydrogen loaded SMF-28 optical fiber. Our experiments have demonstrated a spectral delay of −1311 ps/nm with a linearity of +/−10 ps over the 3 dB bandwidth of the resonant wavelength of the FBG. The reflectance, centered on 1550 nm, shows a side-lobe suppression of −25 dB. Fabrication processes and optical characterization will be discussed.
A variable diffraction efficiency phase mask is produced by focused ion beam, implanting a grating pattern into a fused SiO
2 substrate with a 100-nm-diam, 200keV Si beam. The substrate is prepared by cleaning and coating with a 20-nm-thick film of Al to dissipate the ion charge. The pattern consists of 930 lines, each 80μm long, at a pitch of 1.075μm, to obtain a 1-mm-long grating. The substrate is wet etched in a 1M% HF solution for about 45min to produce a phase mask with the desired diffraction efficiency. This phase mask is used to photoimprint Bragg gratings into standard hydrogenated single-mode telecommunication fibers using 193nm light from an ArF laser.
An apodized in-fibre Bragg grating reflector is fabricated using the phase mask photoimprinting technique. The reflector has a centre wavelength of 1550 nm, a bandwidth of 0.22 nm and a peak reflectivity of 90%. At 0.4 nm (50 GHz) from the centre wavelength the reflectivity is 40 dB lower than the peak reflectivity; this is an improvement of more than 20 dB over an unapodized Bragg grating reflector with similar bandwidth and peak reflectivity.
An apodized chirped in-fibre Bragg grating that has a linear dispersion characteristic is reported. The frequency components of an optical pulse (centre wavelength 1551 nm; 10 GHz bandwidth) incident on the grating are reflected with a relative delay that varies linearly from 0 to 130 ps across the spectral width of the pulse. The dispersion compensator is used to correct for the dispersion in a 100 km link (nondispersion shifted fibre) operating at a 10 Gbit/s transmission rate and a wavelength of 1551 nm.
When hydrogen loading is used to enhance the photosensitivity of silica-based optical waveguides and fibres, the presence of molecular hydrogen dissolved in the glass matrix changes the effective index of propagation of guided optical modes by as much as 0.05%. Real-time monitoring of the reflectivity spectrum of Bragg gratings written in such conditions shows that the centre wavelength follows the changes in hydrogen concentration due to diffusion and reaction with glass defects.
The core refractive index of Corning SMF-28 optical fibre exposed to ArF laser pulses increases with the square of the fluence per pulse. Bragg gratings with a refractive index modulation amplitude higher than 10
-3 have been obtained. This is an order of magnitude improvement over previously reported values for this type of fibre in the absence of treatment to enhance the photosensitivity.