Patterning the tips of optical fibers with metallic nanostructures using nanoskiving.
Convenient and inexpensive methods to pattern the facets of optical fibers with metallic nanostructures would enable many applications. This communication reports a method to generate and transfer arrays of metallic nanostructures to the cleaved facets of optical fibers. The process relies on nanoskiving, in which an ultramicrotome, equipped with a diamond knife, sections epoxy nanostructures coated with thin metallic films and embedded in a block of epoxy. Sectioning produces arrays of nanostructures embedded in thin epoxy slabs, which can be transferred manually to the tips of optical fibers at a rate of approximately 2 min(-1), with 88% yield. Etching the epoxy matrices leaves arrays of nanostructures supported directly by the facets of the optical fibers. Examples of structures transferred include gold crescents, rings, high-aspect-ratio concentric cylinders, and gratings of parallel nanowires.
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