A novel technique is reported for detecting permanent and transient light-induced refractive-index changes (photosensitivity) in optical fibers. The index change is detected by irradiating one arm of an unbalanced Mach–Zehnder fiber interferometer with UV light, thereby changing its optical path length. From a measurement of the change in the spectral response of the Mach–Zehnder interferometer, the change in the fiber core index as a function of wavelength can be determined. The equilibrium change in the core index is found to have an almost constant value of approximately 2.3 × 10−5 over the measured wavelength range of 700 to 1400 nm.

Optics Letters
Department of Electronics

Albert, J, Malo, B., Bilodeau, F., Hill, K.O., Johnson, D.C., & Vineberg, K.A. (1990). Ultraviolet light photosensitivity in Ge-doped silica fibers: wavelength dependence of the light-induced index change. Optics Letters, 15(17), 953–955. doi:10.1364/OL.15.000953