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Tools for synthesising and characterising Bragg grating structures in optical fibres and waveguides

Cranch, G.A. and Flockhart, G.M.H. (2012) Tools for synthesising and characterising Bragg grating structures in optical fibres and waveguides. Journal of Modern Optics, 59 (6). pp. 493-526. ISSN 0950-0340

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Optical waveguide filters based on optical fibre Bragg gratings are used for a wide range of applications in communications systems, fibre lasers and optical fibre sensors. The technical specifications for many of these grating based devices are becoming increasingly challenging. To make technological advances in this area a number of tools, such as: grating synthesis, advanced fabrication techniques, characterisation and reconstruction techniques, are required to improve grating structures. Closing the loop between design and physical realisation has the potential to achieve an unprecedented degree of accuracy in device fabrication. Grating design, fabrication and characterisation has moved from merely an inexact experimental procedure to a highly controlled engineering process. The mathematical and physical tools to achieve this are described and examples of applications are used to illustrate the potential of these capabilities to accelerate further understanding and development of photosensitivity and gratings in novel optical fibres and waveguides in the future.