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NotificationsNotify me of updates to NEW FIBRE AND GRATING TECHNOLOGIES FOR LASERS AND SENSORS, pp. 1-62
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Authors:  John Canning, University of Sydney, Australia
Conventional fibre grating technology is extremely well developed as a consequence of
the large engineering focus on grating based telecommunication component technologies,
both in fibre and planar waveguide form. However, for many non-telecommunication
applications such as in sensing and lasers, the limited range of operation is inadequate. In
particular, degradation and annealing of the grating at high temperatures is increasingly
determining the limits of gratings in these non-telecommunications applications. For
example, heating within rare earth doped lasers leads to grating degradation and
consequently most gratings have to be attached outside the gain fibre. For many sensor
applications, temperature operation above 300°C is common. In response, various
attempts have been made to improve their performance, particularly by varying the
dopant composition, usually at the expense of other properties such as loss and
manufacturing ease. More significantly, however, has been the improved understanding
of photosensitivity that has led to new methods of treating and writing gratings in existing
standard fibres where keeping dopants to a minimum is a priority.
Adding to the challenges for grating science and technology are the increasingly
attractive air-structured fibres of various sorts, including photonic crystal fibres, photonic
bandgap fibres, Fresnel fibres and air-clad fibres. These have air channels that dictate
through their distribution the magnitude of the effective index step and the distribution of
the index difference the modal properties of the waveguide to a level that has previously
not been possible. For many applications, they have an inherent advantage over conventional fibres since their production does not involve dopant incorporation, usually
by modified chemical vapour deposition (MCVD), in order to achieve optical
propagation. This can benefit both the production cost of passive fibres since no dopants
are necessary, and as well active devices containing rare earth ions that do not perform
well with common index-raising dopants such as germanium. On the other hand, the
absence of photosensitive dopants such as germanium has limited grating writing until
recently when two-photon and higher exponent photon grating writing directly into the
band edge of silica was employed. Consequently, for their full potential to be utilised,
new grating writing methodologies and alternatives need further investigation. In this
work, these new approaches to grating writing in both conventional and air-structured
fibres are examined in terms of the technology employed and their potential discussed. A
general proposition that a set of design approaches exists to tailor the photosensitive
response for a particular fibre and grating application is espoused, and directions for new
research outlined. 

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