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

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IDMT demonstrates its method for acoustic quality inspection at »Sensor+Test 2019« in Nürnberg

From June 25th to 27th 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau (Germany) will be presenting a new solution for acoustic quality inspection allowing contact-free, non-destructive testing of manufactured parts and components. The method which has reached Technology Readiness Level 6 already, is currently being successfully tested in practical use together with a number of industrial partners.

Reducing machine downtime, manufacturing defects, and excessive scrap

Im Focus: Successfully Tested in Praxis: Bidirectional Sensor Technology Optimizes Laser Material Deposition

The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.

Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Sneezing' plants contribute to disease proliferation

24.06.2019 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Researchers find new mutation in the leptin gene

24.06.2019 | Life Sciences

Non-invasive view into the heart

24.06.2019 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>