Low-loss propagation and continuously tunable birefringence in high-index photonic crystal fibers filled with nematic liquid crystals

Ertman S., Wolinski T.R., Pysz D., Buczynski R., Nowinowski-Kruszelnicki E., and Dabrowski R.

Optics Express

17(21), 2009, 19298-19310, 10.1364/OE.17.019298

xperimental investigations of microstructured fibers filled with liquid crystals (LCs) have so far been performed only by using host fibers made of the silica glass. In this paper, the host photonic crystal fiber (PCF) was made of the PBG08 high-refractive index glass (~1.95) that is much higher than silica glass index (~1.46) and also higher then both ordinary and extraordinary refractive indices of the majority of LCs. As a result, low-loss and index-guiding propagation is observed regardless of the LC molecules orientation. Attenuation of the host PCF was measured to be ~0.15 dB/cm and for the PCF infiltrated with 5CB LC was slightly higher (~0.19 dB/cm), resulting in a significant reduction to ~0.04 dB/cm of the scattering losses caused by the LC. Moreover, an external transverse electric field applied to the effective photonic liquid crystal fiber (PLCF) allowed for continuous phase birefringence tuning from 0 to 2·10−4.