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Thermal effects on the photoelastic coefficient of polymer optical fibers

Acherov, S. ; Merken, P. ; Ottevaere, H. ; Geernaert, T. ; Thienpont, H. ; Marques, C. ; Webb, D. J. ; Peng, G. ; Mergo, P. ; Berghmans, F.

Optics Letters Vol. 41, Nº 11, pp. 2517 - 2520, May, 2016.

ISSN (print): 0146-9592
ISSN (online): 1539-4794

Journal Impact Factor: 3,772 (in 2008)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1364/OL.41.002517

Abstract
We measure the radial profile of the photoelastic coefficient C(r) in singlemode polymer optical fibers (POFs) and we determine the evolution of C(r) after annealing the fibers at temperatures from 40°C to 80°C. We demonstrate that C(r) in the fibers drawn from a preform without specific thermal pre-treatment changes and converges to values between 1.3 to 1.6×10-12 Pa-1 following annealing at 80°C. The annealed fibers display a smoothened radial profile of C(r) and a lowered residual birefringence. In contrast, the mean value of C(r) of the fiber drawn from a preform that has been pre-annealed remains constant after our annealing process and is significantly higher, i.e 4×10-12 Pa-1. The annealing process decreases the residual birefringence to a lower extent as well. These measurements indicate the impact of annealing on the thermal stability of the photoelastic coefficient of POFs, which is an essential characteristic in view of developing POF based thermo-mechanical sensors.