Ultralow thermal sensitivity of phase and propagation delay in hollow core optical fibres.
ABSTRACT: Propagation time through an optical fibre changes with the environment, e.g., a change in temperature alters the fibre length and its refractive index. These changes have negligible impact in many key fibre applications, e.g., telecommunications, however, they can be detrimental in many others. Examples are fibre-based interferometry (e.g., for precise measurement and sensing) and fibre-based transfer and distribution of accurate time and frequency. Here we show through two independent experiments that hollow-core photonic bandgap fibres have a significantly smaller sensitivity to temperature variations than traditional solid-core fibres. The 18 times improvement observed, over 3 times larger than previously reported, makes them the most environmentally insensitive fibre technology available and a promising candidate for many next-generation fibre systems applications that are sensitive to drifts in optical phase or absolute propagation delay.
Project description:Many scientific and practical applications require the propagation time through cables to be well defined and known, e.g., an error in the evaluation of signal propagation time in the OPERA experiment in 2011 initially erroneously concluded that Neutrinos are faster than light. In fact, there are many other physical infrastructures such as synchrotrons, particle accelerators, telescope arrays and phase arrayed antennae that also rely on precise time synchronization. Time synchronization is also of importance in new practical applications like autonomous manufacturing (e.g., synchronization of assembly line robots) and upcoming 5G networks. Even when the propagation time through a coaxial cable or optical fibre is carefully calibrated, it is affected by changes in the ambient temperature, posing a serious technological challenge. We show how hollow-core optical fibres can address this issue.
Project description:Domain walls are topological defects which occur at symmetry-breaking phase transitions. While domain walls have been intensively studied in ferromagnetic materials, where they nucleate at the boundary of neighbouring regions of oppositely aligned magnetic dipoles, their equivalent in optics have not been fully explored so far. Here, we experimentally demonstrate the existence of a universal class of polarization domain walls in the form of localized polarization knots in conventional optical fibres. We exploit their binding properties for optical data transmission beyond the Kerr limits of normally dispersive fibres. In particular, we demonstrate how trapping energy in well-defined train of polarization domain walls allows undistorted propagation of polarization knots at a rate of 28 GHz along a 10 km length of normally dispersive optical fibre. These results constitute the first experimental observation of kink-antikink solitary wave propagation in nonlinear fibre optics.
Project description:The classical purpose of optical fibres is delivery of either optical power, as for welding, or temporal information, as for telecommunication. Maximum performance in both cases is provided by the use of single-mode optical fibres. However, transmitting spatial information, which necessitates higher-order modes, is difficult because their dispersion relation leads to dephasing and a deterioration of the intensity distribution with propagation distance. Here we consciously exploit the fundamental cause of the beam deterioration-the dispersion relation of the underlying vectorial electromagnetic modes-by their selective excitation using adaptive optics. This allows us to produce output beams of high modal purity, which are well defined in three dimensions. The output beam distribution is even robust against significant bending of the fibre. The utility of this approach is exemplified by the controlled rotational manipulation of live cells in a dual-beam fibre-optical trap integrated into a modular lab-on-chip system.
Project description:The room temperature deposition of self-assembling silica nanoparticles onto D-shaped optical fibres ("D-fibre"), drawn from milled preforms fabricated by modified chemical vapour deposition (MCVD), is studied. Vertical dip-and-withdraw produces tapered layers, with one end thicker (surface coverage >0.85) than the other, whilst horizontal dip-and-withdraw produces much more uniform layers over the core region. The propagation of induced fracturing over the core region during drying is overcome using a simple protrusion of the inner cladding. Thick coatings are discernible through thin film interference colouring, but thinner coatings require scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging. Here, we show that fluorescence imaging, using Rhodamine B, in this example, can provide some qualitative and speedy assessment of coverage.
Project description:Semiconductor-core optical fibres have potential applications in photonics and optoelectronics due to large nonlinear optical coefficients and an extended transparency window. Laser processing can impose large temperature gradients, an ability that has been used to improve the uniformity of unary fibre cores, and to inscribe compositional variations in alloy systems. Interest in an integrated light-emitting element suggests a move from Group IV to III-V materials, or a core that contains both. This paper describes the fabrication of GaSb/Si core fibres, and a subsequent CO<sub>2</sub> laser treatment that aggregates large regions of GaSb without suppressing room temperature photoluminescence. The ability to isolate a large III-V crystalline region within the Si core is an important step towards embedding semiconductor light sources within infrared light-transmitting silicon optical fibre.
Project description:Glass fibres with silicon cores have emerged as a versatile platform for all-optical processing, sensing and microscale optoelectronic devices. Using SiGe in the core extends the accessible wavelength range and potential optical functionality because the bandgap and optical properties can be tuned by changing the composition. However, silicon and germanium segregate unevenly during non-equilibrium solidification, presenting new fabrication challenges, and requiring detailed studies of the alloy crystallization dynamics in the fibre geometry. We report the fabrication of SiGe-core optical fibres, and the use of CO<sub>2</sub> laser irradiation to heat the glass cladding and recrystallize the core, improving optical transmission. We observe the ramifications of the classic models of solidification at the microscale, and demonstrate suppression of constitutional undercooling at high solidification velocities. Tailoring the recrystallization conditions allows formation of long single crystals with uniform composition, as well as fabrication of compositional microstructures, such as gratings, within the fibre core.
Project description:Rabbit predominantly fast-twitch-fibre and predominantly slow-twitch-fibre skeletal muscles of the hind limbs, the psoas, the diaphragm and the masseter muscles were fibre-typed by one-dimensional polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis of the myofibrillar proteins of chemically skinned single fibres. Investigation of the distribution of fast-twitch-fibre and slow-twitch-fibre isoforms of myosin light chains and the type of myosin heavy chains, based on peptide 'maps' published in Cleveland. Fischer, Kirschner & Laemmli [(1977) J. Biol. Chem. 252, 1102-1106], allowed a classification of muscle fibres into four classes, corresponding to histochemical types I, IIA, IIB and IIC. Type I fibres with a pure slow-twitch-type of myosin were found to be characterized by a unique set of isoforms of troponins I, C and T, in agreement with the immunological data of Dhoot & Perry [(1979) Nature (London) 278, 714-718], by predominance of the beta-tropomyosin subunit and by the presence of a small amount of an additional tropomyosin subunit, apparently dissimilar from fast-twitch-fibre alpha-tropomyosin subunit. The myofibrillar composition of type IIB fast-twitch white fibres was the mirror image of that found for slow-twitch fibres in that the fast-twitch-fibre isoforms only of the troponin subunits were present and the alpha-tropomyosin subunit predominated. Type IIA fast-twitch red fibres showed a troponin subunit composition identical with that of type IIB fast-twitch white fibres. On the other hand, a unique type of myosin heavy chains was found to be associated with type IIA fibres. Furthermore, the myosin light-chain composition of these fibres was invariably characterized by a small amount of LC3F light chain and by a pattern that was either a pure fast-twitch-fibre light-chain pattern or a hybrid LC1F/LC2F/LC3F/LC1Sb light-chain pattern. By these criteria type IIA fibres could be distinguished from type IIC intermediate fibres, which showed coexistence of fast-twitch-fibre and slow-twitch-fibre forms of myosin light chains and of troponin subunits.
Project description:Integration of conductive materials into optical fibres can largely expand functions of fibre devices including surface plasmon resonator/metamaterial, modulators/detectors, or biosensors. Some early attempts have been made to incorporate metals such as tin into fibres during the fibre drawing process. Due to the restricted range of materials that have compatible melting temperatures with that of silica glass, the methods to incorporate metals along the length of the fibres are very challenging. Moreover, metals are nontransparent with strong light absorption, which causes high fibre loss. This article demonstrates a novel but simple method for creating transparent conductive reduced graphene oxide film onto microstructured silica fibres for potential optoelectronic applications. The strongly confined evanescent field of the suspended core fibres with only 2 μW average power was creatively used to transform graphene oxide into reduced graphene oxide with negligible additional loss. Existence of reduced graphene oxide was confirmed by their characteristic Raman signals, shifting of their fluorescence peaks as well as largely decreased resistance of the bulk GO film after laser beam exposure.
Project description:Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) enable many modern-day technologies, including actuators, motion sensors, drug delivery systems, projection displays, etc. Currently, MEMS fabrication techniques are primarily based on silicon micromachining processes, resulting in rigid and low aspect ratio structures. In this study, we report on the discovery of MEMS functionality in fibres, thereby opening a path towards flexible, high-aspect ratio, and textile MEMS. The method used for generating these MEMS fibres leverages a preform-to-fibre thermal drawing process, in which the MEMS architecture and materials are embedded into a preform and drawn into kilometers of microstructured multimaterial fibre devices. The fibre MEMS functionality is enabled by an electrostrictive P(VDF-TrFE-CFE) ferrorelaxor terpolymer layer running the entire length of the fibre. Several modes of operation are investigated, including thickness-mode actuation with over 8% strain at 25?MV?m-1, bending-mode actuation due to asymmetric positioning of the electrostrictive layer, and resonant fibre vibration modes tunable under AC-driving conditions.
Project description:Cellulosic phloem fibres, also known as bast fibres, find a wide array of applications in industry, for example as eco-friendly substitutes of glass fibres in the manufacture of biocomposites. Bast fibres are cells characterized by a noteworthy length and by a tertiary cell wall (gelatinous or G-layer) mainly composed of crystalline cellulose. During their differentiation, bast fibres undergo specific developmental stages: the cells initially elongate rapidly by intrusive growth, then they cease elongation and start to thicken. In the light of their importance in fostering a bio-economy, it is desirable to widen our knowledge on the molecular mechanisms underlying the differentiation and maturation of bast fibres. The goal of the present study is to provide a transcriptomic close-up of the key events accompanying bast fibre development. The stages going from rapid elongation to cell wall thickening are here studied in textile hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), a fibre crop of great economic importance. Overall design: Analysis of the fibre transcriptome of hemp plants age 6 weeks. Samples were taken at the TOP, MID (with the snap point) and BOT. Bast fibres were separated using EtOH 80%, a morar and a pestle. The number of biological replicates is four with 13 plants in each replicates.