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Integrated fibres for self-monitored optical transport


The ability to integrate distinct functional elements into a single device structure enables the realization of systems with higher-level functionality. Here we report on the design and fabrication of a fibre device structure that contains integrated optical, electrical and thermal elements for self-monitored optical transport. The fibre transmission element uses a hollow-core multilayer cylindrical photonic bandgap structure1,2 designed to guide high-power radiation at 10.6 μm along the fibre axis3. Multiple thermal-detection elements are placed in the vicinity of the hollow core for the purpose of temperature monitoring along the entire fibre length. Metal wires bridged by a semiconductor layer extend along the length of the fibre and deliver an electrical response to the fibre ends on change in the fibre temperature. The multimaterial fibre is drawn at high speeds from a single preform4 to produce extended lengths of optically and thermally functional fibres. The exponential dependence on temperature of the electrical conductivity of the semiconducting material allows for the discrimination, in real time, between normal transmission conditions and those that are indicative of localized defect formation, thus enabling a self-monitoring high-power optical transmission line for failure prediction and prevention.

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Figure 1: Scanning electron micrographs of the hybrid fibre.
Figure 2: Thermal, electrical and optical properties of the hybrid fibre.
Figure 3: Power dissipation along the bent fibre.
Figure 4: High-power-laser-light delivery through the hybrid fibre and failure prediction.


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We thank N. Orf for measuring the glass-transition temperature of the GAST glass. This work was supported in part by DARPA, the ARO, the ONR, the US DOE, and the ISN. This work was also supported in part by the MRSEC Program of the National Science Foundation. D.S.H. was partly supported by the Istanbul Technical University president office grant.

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Correspondence to Mehmet Bayindir or Yoel Fink.

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Bayindir, M., Shapira, O., Saygin-Hinczewski, D. et al. Integrated fibres for self-monitored optical transport. Nature Mater 4, 820–825 (2005).

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