Optical Fiber Technology
Within the optical fiber technology group fundamental and application-oriented research activities are carried out on the entire technology chain for the production of specialty fibers based on doped silica glass.
The research focuses are on material development and optimization to address new fields of application as well as development of technology to ensure innovative, tailored structures and doping properties.
Basis of these activities are the following methods:
- gas phase processes (MCVD inclusive solution doping and chelate gas phase doping)
- reactive powder-sintering process (REPUSIL)
- plasma-assisted material deposition and homogenization processes
Another major activity is the custom-fit advancement of fiber-drawing technology for micro-structured fibers and nanoscale airclad structures by means of cane-drawing steps, as well as the exploration of multiple as well as novel fiber-coating processes (such as freeze-coating) with high performing and optically functionalized materials.
- Development, realization and characterization of laser-active specialty fibers with extraordinary performance (achievable output power, long-term stability, beam quality)
- Design, realization and characterization of micro-structured specialty fibers
- Material and process development as well as trendsetting material combinations (hybrid fibers)
The focus of the specialty fibers for laser and amplifier applications is on rare earth-doped high-power laser fibers (i.e. Yb, emission of 1 μm) and the development of suitable fibers for the eye-safe wavelength range (> 1.5 μm).
Research on and technological implementation of micro-structured fibers for biophotonic applications and environmental analytics as well as the combination of different materials within the fiber are further research topics.
Addressed Application Fields
- 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.