Article

Deep-ultraviolet to mid-infrared supercontinuum generated in solid-core ZBLAN photonic crystal fibre

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Abstract

Silica-based photonic crystal fibre has proven highly successful for supercontinuum generation, with smooth and flat spectral power densities. However, fused silica glass suffers from strong material absorption in the mid-infrared (>2,500 nm), as well as ultraviolet-related optical damage (solarization), which limits performance and lifetime in the ultraviolet (<380 nm). Supercontinuum generation in silica photonic crystal fibre is therefore only possible between these limits. A number of alternative glasses have been used to extend the mid-infrared performance, including chalcogenides, fluorides and heavy-metal oxides, but none has extended the ultraviolet performance. Here, we describe the successful fabrication (using the stack-and-draw technique) of a ZBLAN photonic crystal fibre with a high air-filling fraction, a small solid core, nanoscale features and near-perfect structure. We also report its use in the generation of ultrabroadband, long-term stable, supercontinua spanning more than three octaves in the spectral range 200–2,500 nm.

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Acknowledgements

The ZBLAN glass rods and tubes were purchased from IRphotonics (now part of Thorlabs).

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Guenther-Scharowsky Strasse 1, Bau 24, Erlangen 91058, Germany

    • Xin Jiang
    • , Nicolas Y. Joly
    • , Martin A. Finger
    • , Fehim Babic
    • , Gordon K. L. Wong
    • , John C. Travers
    •  & Philip St. J. Russell
  2. Department of Physics, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Guenther-Scharowsky Strasse 1, Bau 24, Erlangen 91058, Germany

    • Nicolas Y. Joly
    •  & Philip St. J. Russell

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Contributions

X.J. and F.B. designed, fabricated and characterized the fibre. X.J. and N.Y.J. carried out the experiments on supercontinuum generation. J.C.T. performed the majority of the theoretical analysis and numerical simulations. P.St.J.R. conceived the project and supervised the work. M.A.F. and G.K.L.W. assisted the work in various ways.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Xin Jiang.

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