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Researchers Test Hollow Optical Fibers for UV Light

Electron-microscopic picture of the brand new hollow-core optical fiber.

Scientists on the Max Planck Institute have examined a brand new kind of optical fiber with a hole core, revealing that the sort of optical fiber was in a position to information UV laser gentle with out being broken and with acceptable loss. The brand new optical waveguides will enhance precision investigations in physics, chemistry and life sciences.

If you wish to ship gentle on a visit by way of optical fibers – with as little loss as doable, it’s best to decide for infrared gentle, as is the case, for instance, within the telecommunication networks worldwide. For sure purposes, equivalent to spectroscopic investigations on ions or atoms, nevertheless, (laser) gentle within the ultraviolet vary is required. However the sort of gentle would shortly harm typical optical fibers. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen/Germany and of the QUEST Institute, primarily based on the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), have examined a brand new kind of optical fiber with a hole core and have came upon that the sort of optical fiber was in a position to information UV laser gentle with out being broken and with acceptable loss. Their investigations, which they’ve just lately revealed within the journal “Optics Categorical”, are attention-grabbing for quite a few purposes: moreover precision spectroscopy on atoms or ions and their use in optical atomic clocks or quantum computer systems, fluorescence microscopy in biology, the investigation of course of plasmas, combustion research on soot or the spectroscopy of greenhouse gases could be different doable fields of utility.

Optical fibers often have a strong glass core. This glass core is coated with an optically thinner materials. The legal guidelines of physics be sure that a light-weight beam is saved inside such a fiber because of complete reflection and that it may be transported over lengthy distances with out vital loss. Such optical fibers are due to this fact broadly used worldwide to move gentle of various spectral ranges – from the infrared as much as the seen gentle vary. UV gentle, nevertheless, has a shorter wavelength and is due to this fact strongly absorbed by the glass utilized in most sorts of optical fibers and the fibers are shortly broken by UV gentle.

On the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL) in Erlangen, experiments with different sorts of optical fiber have been carried out for a number of years. Now, it has turned out {that a} sure kind of optical fibre is especially well-suited for UV gentle: a microstructured photonic crystal fibre (PCF) with a so-called “Kagome construction” – a particular sample consisting of triangles and of hexagons in an everyday association – and a hole core of 20 µm in diameter. This core ensures a single-mode guiding of the sunshine – i.e. with a spatial depth distribution much like the form of a Gaussian bell-shaped curve. The essential query was to know whether or not this transport was actually single-mode and damage-free, and that is what the metrological consultants from the QUEST Institute at PTB needed to discover out. Their investigations have proven that within the case of the UV beam used, with a wavelength of 280 nm, single-mode transmission was doable and that even after greater than 100 hours in operation at an influence of 15 mW, no UV-induced harm may very well be detected.

The optical fibers have even handed a primary utility take a look at: the researchers on the QUEST Institute have used them efficiently for their spectroscopic investigations on trapped ions. Stabilized by the brand new fiber, the UV laser beam permits an improved interrogation of the ions’ inside state. Moreover the customers of such spectroscopic strategies (for instance in astronomy, chemistry or elementary analysis in physics), this is also helpful for researchers who’re creating quantum computer systems, since in that subject, the interior states of a particle are the brand new digital 0s and 1s.

Publication: Florian Gebert, et al., “Harm-free single-mode transmission of deep-UV gentle in hollow-core PCF,” Optics Categorical, Vol. 22, Subject 13, pp. 15388-15396 (2014); doi:10.1364/OE.22.015388

PDF Copy of the Examine: Damage-free single-mode transmission of deep-UV light in hollow-core PCF

Picture: MPL

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