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Fabrication of multipoint side-firing optical fiber by laser micro-ablation

Abstract

A multipoint, side-firing design enables an optical fiber to output light at multiple desired locations along the fiber body. This provides advantages over traditional end-to-end fibers, especially in applications requiring fiber bundles such as brain stimulation or remote sensing. This Letter demonstrates that continuous wave (CW) laser micro-ablation can controllably create conical-shaped cavities, or side windows, for outputting light. The dimensions of these cavities determine the amount of firing light and their firing angle. Experimental data show that a single side window on a 730 μm fiber can deliver more than 8% of the input light. This can be increased to more than 19% on a 65 μm fiber with side windows created using femtosecond laser ablation and chemical etching. Fine control of light distribution along an optical fiber is critical for various biomedical applications such as light-activated drug-release and optogenetics studies.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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