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Active Photonic Crystal Fibers


Active Photonic Crystal Fibers at Optical Wavelengths Made from Multicomponent Glasses

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-SYN/Materials Synthesis and Processing/Materials
  • PHY-OPL/Optics and Lasers/Physics

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Yakusheva A A

Leading Institute
Vavilov State Optical Institute (GOI) / Research and Technological Institute of Optical Materials, Russia, St Petersburg


  • IPHT-Jena / Institut für Physicalishe Hochtechnologie e.v., Germany, Jena\nUniversity of Southampton / Optoelectronics Research Center, UK, Southampton\nSchott Glas, Germany, Mainz\nUniversite de La Rochelle, France, La Rochelle\nUniversite Montpellier II / Laboratoire des Verres, France, Montpellier\nUniversité de Claude Bernard-Lyon 1 / Laboratoire de Physico - Chimie des Materiaux Luminescents, France, Lyon\nConsiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche / Istituto di Fisica Applicata Nello Carrara, Italy, Florence\nAlcatel CIT, France, Paris

Project summary

Submitted Project will be the next step to convert the results obtained to practical and commercial application.

Goal of the Project: development of novel materials and laboratory technology to make trial samples of photonic crystal fibers combining functions of optical signal transmission, amplification, modulation, and switching.

Introduction and Overview.

The investigation of photonic crystal fibers (PCF) is carried out by the leading research centers of companies. It is targeted on development of PCF and their usage in fiber optic communication lines to increase information transmission rate to a level sufficient for high quality Web transmission of moving image and force out a conventional TV from mass media market.

Photonic crystal is material with a band gap fabricated by the Bragg reflection of electromagnetic waves in a structure with periodical refractive index variations.

Photonic crystal (holey) fiber is an optical fiber consisting from the core and cladding which is a structure with regular arrangement of microcapillaries.

Contrary to a conventional optical fiber the PCF ensures:

– single mode regime of light wave propagation in a wide spectral range;

– possibility to generate ultrashort light pulse and optical harmonics of high orders;
– possibility to control dispersion, spontaneous emission, and frequency conversion;
– achievement of anomalous dispersion and zero dispersion for group velocity in visible range.

Samples of silica glass PCF had a hexagonal cross section and were formed from a package of air-filled microcapillaries. Central part of the PCF (the core) was solid or air-filled. Initially, it was supposed that PCF is characterized by the properties mentioned above only in the case of strictly regular arrangement of microcapillaries and extremely high difference indices of the core and cladding. However, later it was shown that these requirements were excessive.

Hence, it opens the opportunity to manufacture PCF from a package of rods made from various sorts of glass instead of a package of silica glass tubes. It seems promising for elaboration of novel radiation controlling devices on the base of multicomponent glasses doped with rare-earth (RE) ions and glasses with improved electrooptical (EO) parameters as compared to silica glass.

Novelty of the Project proposal is that the applicants plan to elaborate trial samples of multicomponent fibers with the photonic gap capable to perform functions of two or more optical radiation controlling devices simultaneously.

A. Photonic crystal fiber with gain and optical loss compensation.

Success in solving of the problem of fiber optic amplifiers depends on elaboration of RE doped glasses with optimum combination of spectral kinetic parameters of RE ion luminescence and physical chemical parameters ensuring the drawing of low loss optical fiber.

Novelty of the Project proposal is that the applicants intend to combine the advantages of a material, that is specially designed multicomponent glass doped with RE ions, with advantages of PCF structure capable to use nonlinearity of waveguide to minimize dispersion distortion of light pulses.

B. Photonic crystal fiber with in-line electrode structures.

The applicants propose to study EO dynamic time expansion of short optical pulses in a multicomponent PCF structure. Dynamic time expansion could be used at a pre-processing stage for the time expansion of a nanosecond laser pulse prior to its digitizing by analog-to-digital converter.

Novelty of the Project proposal is that the applicants intend to combine advantages of the material, that is the specially designed multicomponent glass with increased Kerr coefficient as compared to silica glass, with advantages of elaborated bundle technology of PCF drawing that will make it possible to locate electrodes close to the light guiding core.

C. Photonic crystal fiber tunable switch.

Application fields of the materials and devices with photonic band gap, in particular PCF, might have been significantly broadened if the photonic band gap could be tuned.

The applicants suggest studying optical switch in a model multicapillary fiber filled with different neat organic liquids and dye solutions that exhibit the Kerr nonlinearity. As the intensity of the incoming radiation with frequency inside the photonic band gap is increased, it is possible for the underlying dispersion relation to change it locally, and for the incoming light pulse after its soliton-like stabilization, to tune itself outside the photonic band gap range by locally deforming the band structure.

Novelty of the Project proposal is that the applicants propose to model the design and optimize the tunable switch regime using photonic crystal fiber.

Previous Experience of the Applicants.

The project is based on the knowledge and experience accumulated by the applicants in laser glasses studies and results of the ISTC Project #979 “Electrooptical Glasses for Information Transmitting and Processing Systems” financed by the European Union in 1998-2001. The applicants designed a multicomponent glass for fiber drawing with the Kerr coefficient that is an order higher than that of silica glass. The applicants worked out the basic bundle technology to draw PCF from multicomponent glasses (patent pending).

Expected Results and their Application.

Basic results.

– Physical and chemical basis for novel active PCFs, that is the PCFs with functions of transmission, amplification, modulation, and switching of optical signal.

– Data on band structure and dynamics of light pulses propagation in the PCF.

Applied results.

– New compositions of glassy amplifying and EO materials and a new family of PCFs for information transmitting and processing systems.

– Improved laboratory bundle technology to draw PCF with one or several cores made from RE doped glasses and/or in-line electrodes.

The applicants propose to manufacture trial samples of PCF that include:

– Photonic crystal fiber with gain and optical loss compensation for short wide range optical fiber amplifiers.

– Photonic crystal fiber with in-line electrodes for electrooptical modulators.
– Photonic crystal fiber with tunable photonic band gap for switches.

Commercial results.

Results of the Project will lead to:

– New opportunities to modify element base of EO devices using in the systems of information transmittance and processing.

– Possible appearance of novel product (active PCFs) in the high tech market.

Scope of Activities, Technical Approach, and Methodology.

The Project represents the experimental investigation in the field of physics, chemistry, and technology of glass.

The Project includes elaboration of novel multicomponent glasses feasible for drawing of PCF, development of improved bundle technology to draw fibers with in-line electrodes and/or cores made from RE-doped glasses, and studying the way to form a model PCF with tunable photonic band gap based on liquid filled microcapillary structures.

To determine optimum glass compositions it is supposed to use electronic and vibration spectroscopy, results of spectral-kinetic measurements, differential thermal analysis, X-ray diffraction, refractometry, dilatometry, viscosimetry, electron microscopy, electron microanalysis, results of Kerr and Pockels coefficient measurements, data on dielectric permittivity, conductivity, lazing parameters, etc. The applicants plan to use thermal treatment under applied electric field (poling) to improve EO sensitivity of fiber.


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ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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