Fibers with high birefringence are used in devices such as directional couplers in which the state of polarization of the light must be maintained or controlled. During the fabrication of these devices, the fibers are frequently polished1, etched,2 and/or tapered.3 These processes have the secondary effect of changing the local birefringence in the fiber, which in turn determines the polarization properties of these devices. Here we report the effect of tapering and combinations of etching and tapering on the local birefringence of a polarization-preserving fiber, We discuss the performance limitations imposed on devices by these effects.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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