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 Generating needs-led electricity with biogas plants
17.10.2018 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

nachricht Ultra-light gloves let users 'touch' virtual objects
16.10.2018 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

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: Goodbye, silicon? On the way to new electronic materials with metal-organic networks

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.

Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Conference to pave the way for new therapies

17.10.2018 | Event News

Berlin5GWeek: Private industrial networks and temporary 5G connectivity islands

16.10.2018 | Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Elucidating cuttlefish camouflage

18.10.2018 | Life Sciences

Robot-assisted sensor system for quality assurance of press-hardened components

17.10.2018 | Trade Fair News

Sensory Perception Is Not a One-Way Street

17.10.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>