This work has been devoted to present and demonstrate a novel approach for the fabrication of micro-structured fiber Bragg gratings (MSFBGs) with enhanced control of the geometric features and thus of the spectral properties of the final device. The investigated structure relies on the localized stripping of the cladding layer in a well defined region in the middle of the grating structure leading to the formation of a defect state in the spectral response. In order to fully explore the versatility of MSFBGs for sensing and communications applications, a technological assessment of the fabrication process aimed to provide high control of the geometrical features is required. To this aim, here, we demonstrate that the optimization of this device is possible by adopting a fabrication process based on polymeric coatings patterned by high resolution UV laser micromachining tools. The function of the polymeric coating is to act as mask for the HF based chemical etching process responsible for the cladding stripping. Whereas, UV laser micromachining provides a valuable method to accurately pattern the polymeric coating and thus obtain a selective stripping along the grating structure. Here, we experimentally demonstrate the potentiality of the proposed approach to realize reliable and cost efficient MSFBGs enabling the prototyping of advanced photonics devices based on this technology. (c) 2007 Optical Society of America
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