Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Optical amplifier with world record low noise

22.06.2011
Gothenburg, Sweden: Researchers at Chalmers have demonstrated an optical amplifier which can amplify light with extremely low noise.

The breakthrough enables a reach increase for optical fiber signals from e.g. 1000 km to 4000 km, paving way for increasing the capacity of data communications. The new amplifier could lead to better Internet traffic and laser radar technology, and promote any applications where detection of very weak levels of light is essential, such as free-space communication.

Today´s flow of information demands increasing capacity. Optical amplifiers are crucial enablers of data communication, with the mission to increase data signals without first converting them to electrical signals. Not only the speed and capacity require improvements, but it has become increasingly important to maintain a high signal-to-noise ratio of the signal being transmitted.

The researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have, by using a so-called phase-sensitive fiber-optic parametric amplifier, PSA, reduced the noise figure to 1 dB. In traditional erbium-doped fiber amplifiers the noise figure is 3 dB at best, resulting in loss of signal integrity. 1 dB is the lowest noise ever reported in any kind of amplifier with reasonably large signal gain. This represents a breakthrough also because it is implemented in a practical way, making it potentially very attractive in various applications – most notably in high capacity optical communication systems.

“This is the ultimate optical amplifier. It enables connecting cities, countries and continents more efficiently by placing the amplification hubs at much greater intervals. The signal can also be modulated more effectively. In addition, the amplifier is compatible with any modulation format, with traditional laser transmitters and can be very broadband, making it compatible with many lasers at different wavelengths”, says Professor Peter Andrekson, who has developed the low-noise amplifier together with his research group in fiber optics.

The group has taken advantage of the fact that the refractive index of glass is not constant, but dependent on light intensity in the fiber. The new amplifier shows experimentally to have 1 dB noise level, with a theoretical minimum of 0 dB, i.e. no noise being added in the amplification process. The next step for the Chalmers researchers are towards applications.

“The entire optical telecom industry is our market. But the technology is generic, and scalable to other wavelengths like visible or infrared light, which makes it attractive in areas such as measurements, spectroscopy, laser radar technology and any applications where detection of very weak levels of light is essential”, says Peter Andrekson.

The research is performed at Chalmers University of Technology. It is funded by the European project PHASORS and the Swedish Research Council (VR). Participating partners in the EU project includes University of Southampton, University College Cork, University of Athens, Eblana, OFS, OneFive Photonics and EXFO Sweden AB. The results were published in Nature Photonics.

The article:
Z. Tong, C. Lundström, P.A. Andrekson, C.J. McKinstrie, M. Karlsson, D.J. Blessing, E. Tipsuwannakul, B.J. Puttnam, H. Toda, and L. Grüner-Nielsen, Towards ultrasensitive optical links enabled by low-noise phase-sensitive amplifiers, Nature Photonics, DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2011.79
For further information, please contact:
Prof. Peter Andrekson, +46-31-772 16 06, peter.andrekson@chalmers.se
or Christian Borg, Media Relations Manager, Chalmers University of Technology
+46-31-772 3395, christian.borg@chalmers.se

Christian Borg | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nphoton.2011.79.
http://www.chalmers.se/en/research/professors/Pages/descriptions/peter-andrekson-photonics.aspx

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones
28.03.2017 | Science China Press

nachricht Timing a space laser with a NASA-style stopwatch
28.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

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...

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

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>