Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Light is shed on new fibre's potential to change technology

12.12.2007
Photonic crystal fibre’s ability to create broad spectra of light, which will be the basis for important developments in technology, has been explained for the first time in an article in the leading science journal Nature-Photonics.

The fibre can change a pulse of light with a narrow range of wavelengths into a spectrum hundreds of times broader and ranging from visible light to the infra-red. This is called a supercontinuum.

This supercontinuum is one of the most exciting areas of applied physics today and the ability to create it easily will have a significant effect on technology.

This includes telecommunications, where optical systems hundreds of times more efficient than existing types will be created because signals can be transmitted and processed at many wavelengths simultaneously.

Supercontinua generated in photonic crystal fibres also help to create optical clocks which are so accurate that they lose or gain only a second every million years. Two physicists based in the US and Germany shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2005 for work in this area.

Despite these applications, the mechanism behind supercontinuum generation has remained unclear, which has stopped physicists from being even more precise in using it.

But researchers at the University of Bath have now discovered the reason for much of the broadening of the spectrum.

Dr Dmitry Skryabin and Dr Andrey Gorbach, of the Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials in the Department of Physics, found that the generation of light across the entire visible spectrum was caused by an interaction between conventional pulse of lights and what are called solitons, special light waves that maintain their shape as they travel down the fibre.

The researchers found that the pulses of light sent down the fibre get struck behind the solitons as both pass down the fibre, because the solitons slow down as they move. This barrier caused by the solitons forces the light pulses to shorten their wavelength and so become bluer, just as the solitons’ wavelength lengthens, becoming redder. This dual effect creates the broadened spectrum.

“One of the most startling effects of the photonic crystal fibre is its ability to create a strong bright spectrum of visible and infra red light from a very brief pulse of light,” said Dr Skryabin.

“We have never fully understood exactly why this happens until our research showed how the pulse of light is slowed down and blocked by other activity in the fibre, forcing it to shorten its wavelength.

“Until now the creation and manipulation of the supercontinua in photonic crystal fibres have been done in an ad-hoc way without knowing exactly why different effects are observed. But now we should be able to be much more precise when using it.”

Dr Skryabin believes that the interaction between light pulses and solitons has similarities with the way gravity acts on objects.

Tony Trueman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bath.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Further Improvement of Qubit Lifetime for Quantum Computers
09.12.2016 | Forschungszentrum Jülich

nachricht Electron highway inside crystal
09.12.2016 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>