Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New filter clears up fiber optic communications

20.02.2008
Highly Efficient Filters Promise Enhanced Data Transmission for Optical Networks

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have come up with a potentially perfect way to sort and distribute the massive amounts of data that travel daily over optical fibers to people throughout the world.

The new technology, a three-dimensional photonic crystal add-drop filter, promises greatly enhanced transmission of multiple wavelength channels (wavelengths of light) traveling along the same optical fiber. The innovative filter is a significant achievement in the effort to develop all-optical transport networks that would eliminate electrical components from optical transmission links and guarantee virtually flawless data reception to end users of the Internet and other fiber-based telecommunications systems.

“There are up to 160 wavelength channels traveling through an optical fiber at the same time,” said Rana Biswas, an Ames Laboratory physicist and one of the developers of the new add-drop filter. “That means a lot of dialogue is going on simultaneously.” Biswas, who is also an Iowa State University adjunct associate professor of physics and astronomy and electrical and computer engineering, explained that as information is transported over these multiple channels, it’s necessary to drop off individual wavelength channels at different points on the fiber. At the same time, it’s essential to be able to add data streams into unfilled wavelength channels.

“When the data being transported in multiple frequency channels over an optical fiber comes to a receiving station, you want to be able to pick off just one of those frequencies and send it to an individual end user,” said Biswas. “That’s where these 3-D photonic crystals come into play.”

Biswas and his colleagues, Kai-Ming Ho, an Ames Laboratory senior physicist and an ISU Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Gary Tuttle, an ISU associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and a researcher at the university’s Microelectronics Research Center; and Preeti Kohli, a former Iowa State Ph.D. student now at Micron in Manassas, Va. successfully demonstrated that 3-D photonic crystals could serve as add-drop filters, providing greatly enhanced data transmission.

To prove their concept, the researchers used a three-dimensional, microwave-scale photonic crystal constructed from layered alumina rods and containing a full bandgap – a wavelength range in which electromagnetic waves cannot transmit. Just as electronic bandgaps prevent electrons within a certain energy range from passing through a semiconductor, photonic crystals create photonic bandgaps that confine light of certain wavelengths.

The add-drop filter created by the Ames Laboratory team contains an entrance waveguide and an exit waveguide created by removing rod segments from the layered photonic crystal. A one-rod segment separates the two waveguides. (A waveguide is a system or material that can confine and direct electromagnetic waves.) A defect cavity is located one unit cell above the waveguide layer. The waveguides can communicate through the cavity, allowing a specific wavelength frequency to be selected from the input waveguide and transmitted to the output waveguide, excluding other input frequencies and resulting in near 100 percent efficiency for the drop frequencies.

The idea of using photonic crystals for add-drop filters is not new. Since the mid 1990s, many groups worldwide have been working to develop the technology with two-dimensional photonic crystals.

“It works,” Biswas said, “but there is loss of some intensity to the end user because 2-D photonic crystals don’t confine the light completely. For example, in a phone conversation, the voices would dim out. But with 3-D photonic crystal add-drop filters, the communication would be clear.”

Although Biswas, Kohli, Tuttle and Ho have shown that 3-D photonic crystals would make highly efficient add-drop filters, there are still problems to address. Getting the size of the photonic crystals down to work at the wavelengths used for Internet communications – 1.5 microns – is the big challenge. The Ames Lab group now has some of these photonic crystals working in that range, but to make these controlled structures with one input, another output and a defect … that definitely takes some work. A future direction is to simplify the design of the add-drop filter by reducing the layers in the photonic crystal – perhaps having all the action happen in one layer.

The DOE Office of Science, Basic Energy Science Office funded the above research on 3-D photonic crystal add-drop filters.

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory operated for the DOE by Iowa State University. The Lab conducts research into various areas of national concern, including the synthesis and study of new materials, energy resources, high-speed computer design, and environmental cleanup and restoration.

Saren Johnston | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ameslab.gov

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Equipping form with function
23.06.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity
23.06.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>