Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Twisting the light away

16.07.2004


Add a deceptively simple twist to a tiny fiber of glass and you get a versatile new class of optical devices to filter light; sense changes in temperature, pressure or other environmental factors; or transmit information via powerful, inexpensive lasers, according to researchers at Chiral Photonics Inc. of Clifton, N.J. Writing in the July 2 issue of Science, the company describes a new class of devices called chiral gratings that were developed with support from the Advanced Technology Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and from the National Science Foundation.


Tapered chiral optical fiber created by Chiral Photonics. Fiber is less than 100 millionths of a meter in diameter.Credit: Chiral Photonics, Inc.; National Science Foundation



If the finely controlled process for making the glass fibers can be successfully scaled up to production levels, the company hopes to manufacture communications lasers, for example, that are three times more efficient than today’s semiconductor lasers at about a fifth the cost.

Conventional optical fibers have a core of round cross-section, like a strand of spaghetti, but if they are made thin and flat instead, like linguine, they can be twisted into a spiral or double-helix shape. Then something remarkable happens, according to the Chiral Photonics research team. The degree of twist in the fiber acts like a selective filter allowing light pulses with certain wavelengths (colors) or orientations (polarization) to pass through, while scattering everything else.


A gentle twist and polarized light is directed out into the fiber’s cladding, which can be tailored to capture particular wavelengths based on the external environment such as pressure, temperature or other factors. Twist harder, about one rotation per every 10 microns of length, and the fiber becomes a polarizing filter, scattering all the photons except those with a selected polarization. An even tighter twist of one rotation per wavelength and the fiber becomes a highly selective mirror, reflecting back only light of a precise wavelength--an effect that can be used for a small, powerful and inexpensive fiber-optic laser.

Michael Baum | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nist.gov
http://www.chiralphotonics.com
http://www.nsf.gov

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics
23.03.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht TU Graz researchers show that enzyme function inhibits battery ageing
21.03.2017 | Technische Universität Graz

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>