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Large-scale optical-field measurements with geometric fibre constructs


Optical fields are measured using sequential arrangements of optical components such as lenses, filters, and beam splitters in conjunction with planar arrays of point detectors placed on a common axis1. All such systems are constrained in terms of size, weight, durability and field of view. Here a new, geometric approach to optical-field measurements is presented that lifts some of the aforementioned limitations and, moreover, enables access to optical information on unprecedented length and volume scales. Tough polymeric photodetecting fibres drawn from a preform2 are woven into light-weight, low-optical-density, two- and three-dimensional constructs that measure the amplitude and phase of an electromagnetic field on very large areas. First, a three-dimensional spherical construct is used to measure the direction of illumination over 4π steradians. Second, an intensity distribution is measured by a planar array using a tomographic algorithm. Finally, both the amplitude and phase of an optical wave front are acquired with a dual-plane construct. Hence, the problem of optical-field measurement is transformed from one involving the choice and placement of lenses and detector arrays to that of designing geometrical constructions of polymeric, light-sensitive fibres.

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Figure 1: Photodetecting fibres.
Figure 2: Omnidirectional light detection.
Figure 3: Reconstructing an arbitrary optical intensity distribution with a planar fibre web.
Figure 4: Non-interferometric lensless imaging using two fibre webs.


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We thank N. Orf, Y. Migdal and E. E. Bayindir for technical assistance, and M. Qi for useful discussions. This work was supported by the ISN DAAD-19-02-D-0002, US DOE DE-FG02-99ER45778 and DARPA/Christodoulou. This work was also supported in part by the MRSEC Program of the National Science Foundation under award number DMR 02-13282.

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Correspondence to Yoel Fink.

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Abouraddy, A., Shapira, O., Bayindir, M. et al. Large-scale optical-field measurements with geometric fibre constructs. Nature Mater 5, 532–536 (2006).

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