Direct laser written multimode waveguides for astronomical applications

Nemanja Jovanovic*, Simon Gross, Christopher Miese, Alexander Fuerbach, Jon Lawrence, Michael J. Withford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


In this publication we present the results of a detailed study into directly written multimode waveguides for astronomical applications. We show that waveguides up to 100 μm across can be inscribed with the cumulative heating form of this technique. The waveguides have 2 concentric guiding regions which are elliptical; a core that has an average ellipticity of 1.1±0.1 and an outer cladding with an ellipticity of 0.15±0.03. It was demonstrated that the ellipticity of the waveguides could be reduced by creating "structured" waveguides which consist of several waveguides stacked together. The 7 mm long waveguides demonstrated insertion losses at 800 nm as low as 39% when light was launched and collected by a standard multimode fibre (50 μm core diameter and numerical aperture of 0.12), which is representative of the fibres currently used on astronomical installations. More importantly, we show for the first time that structured waveguides designed to have outer cladding regions which match the dimensions of the core of the launch and collection fibers, have lower insertion losses than structured waveguides designed to have matching core dimensions. It is believed that by moving to longer wavelengths of operation and exploring other structuring and beam shaping techniques it may be possible to reduce the losses even further and make these waveguides of practical use for astronomy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationModern Technologies in Space- and Ground-Based Telescopes and Instrumentation-2010
EditorsEli Atad-Ettedgui, Dietrich Lemke
Place of PublicationWashington, DC
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780819482297
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventModern Technologies in Space- and Ground-Based Telescopes and Instrumentation - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 27 Jun 20102 Jul 2010


OtherModern Technologies in Space- and Ground-Based Telescopes and Instrumentation
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2010 Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


  • Astrophotonics
  • Direct-write technique
  • Femtosecond laser
  • Multimode waveguides
  • Ultrafast material processing


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