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We show strong changes in chemical etching of phosphorusdoped fiber cores due to hydrogen loading and subsequent UV-irradiation using an atomic force microscope. The etch rate of the fiber core in a low concentration hydrofluoric acid solution (HF) is decreasing after hydrogen loading by as much as 30%. In contrast, UV-irradiation of the hydrogenated fiber increases the core etch rate to values of 27% above the etch rate of the pristine fiber. The UV-induced change in etch rate does not dependdoi:10.1364/opex.12.005770 pmid:19488214 fatcat:zmhljibambb2dacc2tblyoeize