Physicists from Russia has created a unique «laser» optical fiber

© Press-service Mptotic the artist imagined the light inside the fiberPhysicists from Russia has created a unique «laser» optical fiber© Press service of MIPT

Physicists from Russia and their Finnish colleagues have developed a new type of optical fiber, which is ideal for creating heavy duty lasers and light amplifiers, according to an article published in the journal Optics Express.

«We created samples of fiber will find applications not only in laser systems, but fiber sensors for measuring temperature, pressure and other physical quantities. Unlike their semiconductor competitors, they do not need power supply, can carry out distributed detection and have other advantages,» — says Sergey Nikitov, Director of the Institute of radio engineering and electronics of RAS, MIPT and the employee.

An optical fiber is a filament of plastic or glass, capable of conducting electricity like a normal metal wires and beams of light. Usually his threads consist of two layers – owns a fibre-optic core and surrounding shell of another transparent material which has a lower refractive index than the core.

Because of this fiber can capture and force to move the light in an efficient way, letting him «escape» into the environment through the walls of the thread. All fiber types created over the past half century, there are a few common problems that scientists have been unable to solve completely.

Chief among them are the gradual attenuation of the signal at the movement of light over large distances, and the fact that the increase of the radiation power leads to various unpredictable effects and increase the «noise» that hinders the creation of heavy duty fiber lasers and light amplifiers.

Nikitov and his colleagues solved this problem by creating a new type of optical fiber which has an unusually large core and does not distort all the important optical characteristics of light which passes through it.

To do this, scientists «tapered» core and changed its structure so that its thickness is decreased gradually and increased as lengthening the fiber. Similar changes undergone by the shell of the core, whose shape changes according to the same principles. The speed of converging and diverging the sheath and core of such filaments, it will greatly influence its optical properties that can be used to create a fiber with well-matched characteristics.

Such a fiber, produced in particular in Russia, can find wide application at creation of systems of data transmission, as it removes one of the major limitations of fiber – the inability to create a sufficiently «thick» cores. In addition, the development of the Russian scientists may find application in the development of lasers and scientific instruments.