Integrated Optofluidic Multimaterial Fibers

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Integrated Optofluidic Multimaterial Fibers

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Title: Integrated Optofluidic Multimaterial Fibers
Author: Stolyarov, Alexander
Citation: Stolyarov, Alexander. 2012. Integrated Optofluidic Multimaterial Fibers. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: The creation of integrated microphotonic devices requires a challenging assembly of optically and electrically disparate materials into complex geometries with nanometer-scale precision. These challenges are typically addressed by mature wafer-based fabrication methods, which while versatile, are limited to low-aspect-ratio structures and by the inherent complexity of sequential processing steps. Multimaterial preform-to-fiber drawing methods on the other hand present unique opportunities for realizing optical and optoelectronic devices of extended length. Importantly, these methods allow for monolithic integration of all the constituent device components into complex architectures. My research has focused on addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with microfluidic multimaterial fiber structures and devices. Specifically: (1) A photonic bandgap (PBG) fiber is demonstrated for single mode transmission at 1.55 µm with 4 dB/m losses. This fiber transmits laser pulses with peak powers of 13.5 MW. (Chapter 2) (2) A microfluidic fiber laser, characterized by purely radial emission is demonstrated. The laser cavity is formed by an axially invariant, 17-period annular PBG structure with a unit cell thickness of 160nm. This laser is distinct from traditional lasers with cylindrically symmetric emission, which rely almost exclusively on whispering gallery modes, characterized by tangential wavevectors. (Chapter 4)(3) An array of independently-controlled liquid-crystal microchannels flanked by viscous conductors is integrated in the fiber cladding and encircles the PBG laser cavity in (2). The interplay between the radially-emitting laser and these liquid-crystal modulators enables controlled directional emission around a full azimuthal angular range. (Chapter 4) (4) The electric potential profile along the length of the electrodes in (3) is characterized and found to depend on frequency. This frequency dependence presents a new means to tune the transversely-directed transmission at a given location along the fiber axis. (Chapter 5) (5) A chemical sensing system is created within a fiber. By integrating a chemiluminescent peroxide-sensing material into the hollow core of a PBG fiber, a limit-of-detection of 300 ppb for peroxide vapors is achieved. (Chapter 3)
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