Scientific Profile

The Competence Center for Special Fiber Optics at Leibniz IPHT stands in the more than 30 years old tradition for research and development of materials, manufacturing processes and applications for silica-based optical fibers. The center represents one of the key technologies of the institute with cross-sectional application relevance for the research units of Leibniz IPHT, which is one of the most modern research facilities for fiber optics in Europe. With the fiber drawing tower and the laboratories for preform production, laser structuring of fibers, post-processing and characterization, it has excellent infrastructural facilities. We stand for the complete process chain from simulation to material and preform production, drawing of special fibers, functionalization to fiber modules to application and continuously develop the individual processes. This enables us to be at the forefront of the development and production of innovative fiber concepts and to actively support internal partners from the institute and external partners from research and industry in the processing of joint R&D projects.

The fields of work and equipment of the competence center are jointly coordinated by the management of the competence center and the board, which is formed by the heads of the fiber optic oriented research groups.

State-of-the-art preform technologies

  • Chemical vapor deposition (MCVD) both solution and direct gas phase doped
    powder-based sintering and crucible melting technology
  • for a wide range of compositions, refractive index profiles and core coating ratios
  • efficient purification processes for the production of extremely pure quartz glass
  • preform construction for microstructured fibers from capillaries and rods
  • Glass blowing for the production of complex preforms
  • Mechanical processing / optical glass preparation (cutting, grinding, polishing) 
  • Plasma polishing of tubes
  • Precise adjustment of glass tubes and preforms by thermal processes (collapsing, stretching, compressing, enveloping)

Innovative fiber drawing technologies

  • Fiber drawing systems for research as well as semi-industrial fiber production
  • Capillaries with special dimensions, tubes, rods
  • Active fibers for novel fiber laser concepts
  • Photosensitive fibers for sensor applications
  • Pressure control during the drawing process for defined production of microstructured fibers
  • Multicore fibers
  • polarization-maintaining fibers 
  • radiation resistant fibers 
  • Fiber coating

Passive fiber modules

  • ns and fs laser patterning in the wavelength range from 266nm to 800nm for the generation of fiber Bragg gratings (FBG) or waveguide structures
  • FBG rub-in during the fiber drawing process
  • Design, realization, characterization and application of fiber optic modules in special optical fibers 
  • Simulation of innovative effects in passive fiber optic modules
  • For applications in medical technology, sensor technology, biophotonics, fiber laser technology, information technology/telecommunications

Fiber Post-Processing

  • Preparation of fiber end faces
  • Fabrication of fiber tapers
  • Fiber optic devices (splitters, combiners, ...)
  • Splicing of special fibers (e.g. laser fibers, microstructured fibers)

Characterization technologies

  • Determination of refractive index curves in preforms
  • Determination of refractive index curves in fibers
  • Determination of optical properties of the fiber, the fiber core, the cladding glass or individual structural elements of a fiber
  • Attenuation measurements, determination of the cut-off wavelength
  • Fluorescence measurements

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