Holey optical fiber with random pattern of holes and method for making same
A random array of holes is created in an optical fiber by gas generated during fiber drawing. The gas forms bubbles which are drawn into long, microscopic holes. The gas is created by a gas generating material such as silicon nitride. Silicon nitride oxidizes to produce nitrogen oxides when heated. The gas generating material can alternatively be silicon carbide or other nitrides or carbides. The random holes can provide cladding for optical confinement when located around a fiber core. The random holes can also be present in the fiber core. The fibers can be made of silica. The present random hole fibers are particularly useful as pressure sensors since they experience a large wavelength dependant increase in optical loss when pressure or force is applied.