A method of precise characterization of surface nanoscale axial photonics (SNAP) structures with a reference fiber is proposed, analyzed, and demonstrated experimentally. The method is based on simultaneous coupling of a microfiber to a SNAP structure under test and to a reference optical fiber. Significant reduction of measurement errors associated with the environmental temperature variations and technical noise of the spectrum analyzer is demonstrated. The achieved measurement precision of the effective radius variation of the SNAP structure is 0.2 Å.
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Funding: Royal Society (WM130110), Horizon 2020 (H2020-EU.1.3.3) (691011).