Fabrication of a side aligned optical fibre inteferometer by focused ion beam machining

sun, jining and Maier, R R J and Hand, D P and MacPherson, W. N. and Miller, M K and Ritchie, J. M. and Luo, Xichun (2013) Fabrication of a side aligned optical fibre inteferometer by focused ion beam machining. Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 23. ISSN 0960-1317

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Abstract

Focused ion beam (FIB) machining is a promising technique for the fabrication of micro-optical components with high quality surface finishes. In this work, a prototype of a side aligned optical fibre interferometer was successfully fabricated by the three-dimensional deterministic FIB machining technique. A highly accurate 45° reflective mirror with surface roughness (Ra) of 10 nm has been successfully fabricated at the centre of the fibre to direct the core guided light to the side of the fibre. A surface topography simulation method was developed to simulate the ion beam polishing process. According to the simulation result, a 0.5° offset on the ion beam polishing direction is necessary to maintain the machining accuracy. In the fabrication process, it was also found that for structures requiring a high aspect ratio the existence of an open edge can mitigate against the material redeposition on the sidewalls and therefore increase the overall material removal rate. The fibre has been tested optically and the interference signals have been successfully observed, demonstrating the alignment accuracy of the fabrication method.