Experimental and theoretical characterisation of tunable fibre gratings
This thesis presents details on both theoretical and experimental aspects of UV written fibre gratings. The main body of the thesis deals with the design, fabrication and testing of telecommunication optical fibre grating devices, but also an accurate theoretical analysis of intra-core fibre gratings is presented. Since more than a decade, fibre gratings have been extensively used in the telecommunication field (as filters, dispersion compensators, and add/drop multiplexers for instance). Gratings for telecommunication should conform to very high fabrication standards as the presence of any imperfection raises the noise level in the transmission system compromising its ability of transmitting intelligible sequence of bits to the receiver. Strong side lobes suppression and high and sharp reflection profile are then necessary characteristics. A fundamental part of the theoretical and experimental work reported in this thesis is about apodisation. The physical principle of apodisation is introduced and a number of apodisation techniques, experimental results and numerical optimisation of the shading functions and all the practical parameters involved in the fabrication are detailed. The measurement of chromatic dispersion in fibres and FBGs is detailed and an estimation of its accuracy is given. An overview on the possible methods that can be implemented for the fabrication of tunable fibre gratings is given before detailing a new dispersion compensator device based on the action of a distributed strain onto a linearly chirped FBG. It is shown that tuning of second and third order dispersion of the grating can be obtained by the use of a specially designed multipoint bending rig. Experiments on the recompression of optical pulses travelling long distances are detailed for 10 Gb/s and 40 Gb/s. The characterisation of a new kind of double section LPG fabricated on a metal-clad coated fibre is reported. The fabrication of the device is made easier by directly writing the grating through the metal coating. This device may be used to overcome the recoating problems associated with standard LPGs written in step-index fibre. Also, it can be used as a sensor for simultaneous measurements of temperature and surrounding medium refractive index.