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CLEO news: Monday

17 Jun 2002

Holey optical fiber is still a hot research topic judging by talks on the first day of this year's event in California.

In Long Beach, US, delegates at the Conference for Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) were treated to a feast of new applications for microstructured optical fiber at a packed session on the topic.

  • Charles Kerbage of Lucent Optical Fiber Solutions and Bell Labs, US, described the creation of tunable filter attenuators and polarizers for telecoms by filling individual holes in a silica holey fiber with fluids and UV-curable polymers. Kerbage explained that specific holes were filled by placing one end of the fiber into a fluid reservoir and the other into a vacuum line. Epoxy blocks the holes that are not to be filled.

  • Fetah Benabid and his colleagues from the University of Bath, UK, reported the first observation of particle guidance in hollow-core photonic-crystal fiber. By focusing the beam of an argon ion laser onto a glass slide holding 5µm-diameter polystyrene spheres, the Bath team have succeeded in levitating the spheres into the hollow core of the fiber and transporting them.

    Using only 80 mW of optical power, the spheres were raised up 15 cm and transported through the fiber at a speed of 1.1 cm/s. Potential applications for the technique include the transport of biological cells or lithography where specific layers of semiconductor materials have to be deposited.

  • Researchers from the University of Southampton, UK, claimed the first experimental demonstration of a holey-fiber-based Brillouin laser. Operating in a continuous-wave mode and using a simple Fabry-Perot resonator scheme, the laser is said to have a power conversion efficiency of 70% and an output power of 110 mW at 1552.18 nm.

  • Using a grating-assisted coupling scheme, a team from the University of Southern California revealed how optical fiber can be directly coupled to a photonic-crystal waveguide with over 90% power transmission.

    Jacqueline Hewett is news reporter on Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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