Article | Published:

Sapphire-derived all-glass optical fibres

Nature Photonics volume 6, pages 627633 (2012) | Download Citation

Abstract

As performance demands continue to grow, many optical fibre systems are operating at progressively higher power levels. However, Brillouin scattering restricts continued power scaling in narrow-linewidth systems. Optical fibres with engineered Brillouin properties that are manufactured using industry-accepted methods would be of great practical benefit. Here, we show all-glass optical fibres derived from sapphire that have alumina concentrations of up to 55 mol%, which is considerably greater than conventionally possible and enables a series of useful properties. Specifically, a Brillouin gain coefficient of 3.1 × 10−13 m W−1, a value nearly 100 times lower than commercial fibre, was measured for a fibre with an average alumina concentration of 54 mol%. Furthermore, a fibre with 38 mol% alumina was found to be athermal, with a Brillouin frequency that was insensitive to changes in temperature. Such optical fibres may be beneficial in realizing enhanced telecommunication, sensor and high-energy laser systems.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank C. Dunn for technical support and A. Yablon for the refractive index profile measurements.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA

    • P. Dragic
  2. Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET) and the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Clemson University, Advanced Materials Research Laboratory, 91 Technology Drive, Anderson, South Carolina 29625, USA

    • T. Hawkins
    • , P. Foy
    • , S. Morris
    •  & J. Ballato

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Contributions

P.D. conducted experimental work, analysed data and wrote some of the manuscript. T.H., P.F. and S.M. synthesized the fibres and conducted experimental work. J.B. conceived the work, analysed data and wrote some of the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to J. Ballato.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2012.182

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