Silica fiber has many ideal properties as a transmission medium and for the fabrication of passive devices such as couplers. However for active devices it is intrinsically limited, for example the theoretically zero electro-optic coefficient makes the realization of silica-based electro-optic devices difficult. Be-cause such devices would be of enormous importance to silica-fiber-based photonic systems there has been steady effort over the last decade to process silica so as to make it useful for active devices. The principle effort has been in poling silica to induce an electro-optic coefficient, which would be useful for electro-optic modulators and for second-harmonic generation and other optical nonlinear effects. By the application of a strong electric field and heat electro-optic coefficients as large as 1 pm/V have been induced in silica.1 However, whilst these results are interesting, they are around an order of magnitude smaller than is required for practical devices.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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