Optical Fiber Materials and Structures

The Optical Fiber Materials and Structures group fundamentally exploits new synthesis and structuring routes for fiber preforms for biophotonic, environmental analytical, and laser-based applications as well as the combination of different materials.

Research activities are focused on design, synthesis, and characterization of novel functional materials to achieve specific structural and doping properties in fiber preforms. In particular, fundamental studies are performed to prepare laser-active core materials with highest purity and precisely adjusted dopant concentrations. The synthesis methods are based on gas phase and liquid phase processes. The following processes are used: 

  • Plasma-assisted processes for material generation and homogenization.
  • Gas-phase processes (MCVD + solution doping, rare earth gas phase doping; doping with F)
  • Sol-gel synthesis
  • Nanoparticle doping
  • Powder sintering process (REPUSIL)

The in-depth knowledge of these processes enables optical fiber preforms with unconventional, individual, structured refractive index profiles for new fields of application.

Research Topics

  • Development, synthesis, and characterization of laser-active special fiber preform materials
  • Material development and synthesis in the field of doped nano-powders based on SiO2 
  • Fundamental exploration of alternative synthesis methods for simultaneous co-doping with several optically active RE elements (plasma-assisted synthesis, synthesis of hybrid materials)

Areas of application

  • Specialty fibers for fiber-based light sources (cw and pulsed fiber lasers / amplifiers, broadband light sources) for materials processing, metrology and sensing
  • Micro-structured specialty fibers for medical and biological applications (endoscopy, gas analysis, sensors and spectroscopy)
  • Hybrid optical fibers for the development of new wavelengths and / or nonlinear-optical effects

The addressed application fields are continually developed, improved and adapted based on in-house requirements as well as interdisciplinary collaborative projects and the specific needs of cooperation partners and industry.

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