A gradient refractive index rod was successfully prepared by a new fabrication method using laminar shear mixing, and a graded index polymer optical fiber that satisfied IEEE1394b was obtained from the method. To fabricate the gradient refractive index rod, a liquid monomer mixture with a relatively low refractive index was placed in a prepared cylindrical glass reactor and a transparent polymer rod with a higher refractive index was introduced at the center of the reactor. The reactor and the polymer rod were then rotated concurrently with a small rotating speed difference to generate a Couette flow in the liquid phase. The centrifugal force generated by rotation and the polymer diffusion into the liquid monomer mixture developed a graded concentration profile in a radial direction. The Couette flow could reduce the concentration fluctuation in a tangential direction. In addition, the graded index profile could be controlled by the copolymer composition of the rod and its diameter. (C) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.