Fusion splicing of silica hollow core anti-resonant fibers with polarization maintaining fibers

Yucheng M., Filipkowski A., Stepniewski G., Dobrakowski D., Zhou J., Lou B., Klimczak M., Zhao L., Buczynski R.

Journal of Lightwave Technology

39(10), 2021, 3251-3259, 10.1109/JLT.2021.3058888

Fusion splicing of solid-core microstructured silica fibers has been one of the key enablers which opened practical applications of these structures in ultrafast light sources or fiber-based sensors. Anti-resonant hollow core fibers are special in this context, because their optical properties critically depend on single-micron or sub-micron thin wall membranes. This corresponds to high thermal isolation of their cladding structure and makes thermal processing of these fibers challenging. We investigate fusion splicing feasibility of a single capillary ring anti-resonant hollow core fiber made of silica glass. We begin by splicing pairs consisting of standard single mode and hollow core fibers, followed by pairs of polarization maintaining and hollow core fibers. Splice loss is determined within the 1450–2000 nm transmission window of the fiber at around 1–2 dB, depending on wavelength along the transmission window, in the transmission direction from the step index fiber into the hollow core fiber. Maintenance of polarization is verified and polarization extinction ratio of no less than 10 dB is recorded for the ARF spliced with a polarization maintaining fiber. Mechanical robustness of the fabricated splices is verified with standard pull tests returning damage thresholds of 140 g (32 kpsi) and 100 g (24 kpsi) for hollow core fibers spliced to single mode and polarization maintaining fibers, respectively.