Direct observation of modal hybridization in nanofluidic fiber [Invited]
in: Optical Materials Express (2021)
Hybrid-material optical fibers enhance the capabilities of fiber-optics technologies, extending current functionalities to several emerging application areas. Such platforms rely on the integration of novel materials into the fiber core or cladding, thereby supporting hybrid modes with new characteristics. Here we present experiments that reveal hybrid mode interactions within a doped-core silica fiber containing a central high-index nanofluidic channel. Compared with a standard liquid-filled capillary, calculations predict modes with unique properties emerging as a result of the doped core/cladding interface, possessing a high power fraction inside and outside the nanofluidic channel. Our experiments directly reveal the beating pattern in the fluorescent liquid resulting from the excitation of the first two linearly polarized hybrid modes in this system, being in excellent agreement with theoretical predictions. The efficient excitation and beat of such modes in such an off-resonance situation distinguishes our device from regular directional mode couplers and can benefit applications that demand strong coupling between fundamentaland higher-order- modes, e.g. intermodal third-harmonic generation, bidirectional coupling, and nanofluidic sensing.