Poled fiber devices for electro-optic modulation

Simon C. Fleming, Danny Wong, Hugh Inglis, Wei Xu, Takumi Fujiwara, Peter Hill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Electro-optic modulators and switches are important components for photonic systems. Existing technologies (such as lithium niobate) have significant drawbacks in terms of coupling losses to fiber, photorefractive damage and cost. Silica, especially fiber, based devices would be ideal; unfortunately silica, being centrosymmetric, has no intrinsic bulk electro-optic characteristics. However an electro-optic coefficient can be induced by silica by poling. By thermal poling, an electro-optic coefficient of around 1 pm/V has been produced in bulk silica; whilst scientifically interesting, this is insufficient for practical devices, especially as the values for fiber are much smaller. Recent work on UV excited poling has produced values around 6 pm/V in fiber; sufficient to realize fiber devices a few centimeters long, requiring only a few volts for switching. To perform UV-poling, optical fiber with internal electrodes is produced by milling holes into the fiber preform, close and parallel to the core, and then pulling at sufficiently low temperature to avoid closure of the holes into which the fine wire electrodes are subsequently introduced. A voltage is applied to the electrodes to produce a strong electric field (approximately 100/V/μm) in the fiber core which is also exposed to UV laser radiation. After removal of irradiation and field an electro-optic coefficient of around 6 pm/V is measured. By applying a modulating voltage to the internal electrodes this electro-optic coefficient may be used to effect phase or polarization modulation (and amplitude modulation in a suitable structure). Furthermore, by periodic UV-poling, electrically tunable in-fiber Bragg gratings may be produced. Details of the fiber and device geometry, the processing conditions, the measurement techniques, the device performance and potential applications of this exciting new technology will be presented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsKam T. Chan, Shui-sheng Jian, Franklin K. Tong
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1996
EventFiber Optic Components and Optical Communication - Beijing, China
Duration: 1996 Nov 41996 Nov 5

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering


ConferenceFiber Optic Components and Optical Communication
CityBeijing, China


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