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 measure near-perfect performance in low-cost semiconductors
18.03.2019 | Stanford University

nachricht Robot arms with the flexibility of an elephant’s trunk
18.03.2019 | Universität des Saarlandes

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: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>