Image Number 2 for United States Patent #6852169.
Plasma processing system and methods for stripping the buffer and, optionally, removing the cladding from an optical fiber. The plasma processing system includes a holder capable of holding one or more optical fibers such that a mid-span portion of each optical fiber is exposed to a plasma generated within a processing chamber of the system and the ends of each optical fiber are unaffected by the plasma treatment. Tapered transition zones are created between the plasma-treated portion of the optical fiber and the shielded ends. Treatment may be accomplished using a plasma containing atomic and molecular radicals and ions of fluorine and oxygen.