Active optical fiber devices for which the fiber serves not merely as a passive waveguide, but as a medium to directly modulate, generate, or otherwise manipulate light have played a major role in the telecommunications revolution and are now impacting many other fields from remote sensing to biomedicine. Materials for current active fiber devices are largely limited to those that are compatible with the fiber drawing process. This multidisciplinary and collaborative project between Penn State University and the University of Southampton Optoelectronics Research Centre in the UK focuses on incorporating new materials into optical fibers to allow for new types of active fiber devices. Semiconductors and metals are deposited into the micro- to nano-scale voids of microstructured optical fibers over distances of up to meters via a unique high pressure chemical fluid deposition technique. Thus, the rich optoelectronic functionality of both amorphous and crystalline semiconductors and metals can integrated with the flexible light guiding capabilities of fibers. Lasers, modulators, guides, and detectors should then become possible in a geometry that allows for interactions of semiconductors and metals with waveguided electromagnetic radiation over much longer length scales than can be realized in typical planar device geometries.
The broader impacts of the research included strengthening ties across disciplines and between UK and US research efforts, fostering outreach to K-12 students and underrepresented minorities, and a new approach to optoelectronic integration.
|Effective start/end date
|7/1/08 → 6/30/13
- National Science Foundation: $615,000.00