PSA: Fiber Solarization

I’ve been told before that long term illumination of optical fibers with 405 nm light can lead to fiber solarization where the transmission of the fiber drops, but I hadn’t seen evidence for it until recently. We observed power declines on our spinning disk confocal over several months, which weren’t fixed by realigning the laser launch. ┬áReplacement of the optical fiber resulted in a ~2x increase in brightness, so it appears that the fiber had darkened due to long term 405 nm illumination. ┬áThis fiber had been in use for several years so this isn’t a rapid process, but long term use of fibers with 405 nm lasers can definitely lead to problems.

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