Fabrication of fiber Bragg Gratings using femtosecond UV laser pulses

Research Area: Fiber Bragg Gratings
Status: In progress
Project leaders: Othonos, Andreas
Members: Constantinos Papatryfonos
In cooperation with Nanowires
Funded by: Research Promotion Foundation
Funding: 394000.00 EUR

The discovery of fibre optics has revolutionized the field of sensors and telecommunications. Over the past three decades, the advancements in optical fibre has undoubtedly improved and reshaped fibre optic technology. Today optical fibres plus related components are synonymous with the word “telecommunication” and “optical sensors”. Despite the improvements in optical fibre manufacturing and advancements in the field in general, basic optical components such as mirrors, wavelength filters, and partial reflectors have been a challenge to integrate with fibre optics. Recently, however, all this has changed with the ability to alter the core index of refraction in a single mode optical fibre by optical absorption of UV light. The photosensitivity of optical fibres allows the fabrication of phase structures directly into the fibre core, called fibre Bragg gratings. The fibre Bragg grating can perform many primary functions, such as reflection and filtering, in a highly efficient, low loss manner. This versatility has stimulated a number of significant innovations. This project aims in the development of the fiber Bragg Grating Facility through the upgrade of several key ultrafast laser systems and optical components at the already established Research Center of Ultrafast Science.

Description:

This project aims in the development of the fiber Bragg Grating Facility through the upgrade of several key ultrafast laser systems and optical components at the already established Research Center of Ultrafast Science . The proposed upgrade in the infrastructure will result in the generation of stable femtosecond UV pulses for the inscription of permanent Bragg gratings in optical fibers and optical waveguides in general. The facility will allow the development of this new and innovating technology in Cyprus with implementation to applications ranging from optical sensors to telecommunications. Specifically we will aim in the development of Bragg grating filters for telecommunications (wavelength division multiplexing, chirped mirrors, etc.) and structural sensors that will be used for monitoring the structural integrity in manmade structures which is of vital importance in an earthquake region like Cyprus and sensors for early detection of forest fires. Although over the past few years there has been a great deal of research on fiber Bragg gratings using nanosecond laser radiation from excimer lasers there has been very little work on femtosecond lasers as the source for generating a permanent change of index of refraction in optical fibers. Preliminary results by our group have shown that inscribed Bragg grating using femtosecond laser radiation posses some importance characteristics making them valuable for applications in optical sensors and in telecommunications. The first objective of this project is development of a fabrication facility for fiber Bragg gratings using femtosecond laser radiation providing us with a detail understanding of photosensitivity under ultrafast pulse excitation. The second objective is the implementation of these enhanced Bragg gratings structures for applications in strain and temperature sensing and for telecommunications, areas that will undauntedly provide the precursor knowledge and know-how for the development of novel high technology companies in Cyprus.

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