Bragg gratings photo-inscribed in polymer optical fibers (POFs) are more sensitive to temperature and pressure than their silica counterparts, because of their larger thermo-optic coefficient and smaller Young's modulus. Polymer optical fiber Bragg gratings (POFBGs) are most often photo-written in poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) based materials using a continuous-wave 325 nm HeCd laser. In this work, we present the first study about birefringence effects in POFBGs manufactured in different types of fiber. To achieve this, highly reflective (> 90%) gratings were produced with the phase mask technique. Their spectral response was then monitored in transmission with polarized light. Polarization dependent loss (PDL) and differential group delay (DGD) were computed from the Jones matrix eigenanalysis using an optical vector analyzer. Maximum values exceeding several dB and a few picoseconds were obtained for the PDL and DGD, respectively. An inverse scattering technique applied to the experimental data provided an estimate of the photo-induced birefringence value arising from the side fabrication process. The response to lateral force was finally investigated for various incident directions using the PDL response of FBGs manufactured in step-index POFs. As the force induced birefringence adds to the photo-induced one, a force dependent evolution of the PDL maximum value was noticed, with a good temperature-insensitivity.
Bibliographical noteFunding: ERC (European Research Council) Starting Grant
PROSPER (grant agreement N° 280161), ARC research programme PREDICTION supported by the Ministère de la Communauté française de Belgique, Marie Curie Intra European Fellowships included in the 7th Framework Program of the European Union (projects PIEF-GA-2011-302919 and PIEF-GA-2013-628604).