Advanced fiber in-coupling through nanoprinted axially symmetric structures
in: Applied Physics Reviews (2023)
Here, we introduce and demonstrate nanoprinted all-dielectric nanostructures located on fiber end faces as a novel concept for the efficient coupling of light into optical fibers, especially at multiple incidence angles and across large angular intervals. Taking advantage of the unique properties of the nanoprinting technology, such as flexibly varying the width, height, and gap distance of each individual element, we realize different polymeric axial-symmetric structures, such as double-pitch gratings and aperiodic arrays, placed on the facet of commercial stepindex fibers. Of particular note is the aperiodic geometry, enabling an unprecedentedly high average coupling efficiency across the entire angular range up to 80_, outperforming regular gratings and especially bare fibers by orders of magnitude. The excellent agreement between simulation and experiment clearly demonstrates the quality of the fabricated structures and the high accuracy of the nanoprinting process. Our approach enables realizing highly integrated and ready-to-use fiber devices, defining a new class of compact, flexible, and practically relevant all-fiber devices beyond the state-of-art. Applications can be found in a variety of cutting-edge fields that require highly efficient light collection over selected angular intervals, such as endoscopy or quantum technologies. Furthermore, fiber functionalization through nanoprinting represents a promising approach for interfacing highly complex functional photonic structures with optical fibers.