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Optical Fiber Technology

For more than 30 years, Leibniz-IPHT has been researching and developing materials and manufacturing processes for silica-based glass fibres. The traditionally close interlocking of research and production in our own company enables us to be at the forefront in the development and production of innovative fibre concepts and to actively support scientific and industrial partners. Competent scientists, engineers and laboratory technicians work together throughout the entire process chain for the production of complex glass fiber structures.

The Leibniz-IPHT has an infrastructure covering the entire fibre technology for the production of optical fibres with highly complex cores, which is one of the most modern research facilities for fibre optics in Europe. Fibres can be drawn here in a wide parameter range at speeds of up to 100 m per minute. Based on different fiber preforms, complex fiber structures with structural sizes down to the 100 nm range are realized. Adapted online measurement and control techniques ensure high fiber quality; flexible modules allow multiple as well as pressure coating of the optical fibers. In contract work for commercial partners, approx. 40 km of special fibers are drawn each year. In cooperation with the spin-off company FBGS (Fiber Bragg Gratings Solutions) of the Leibniz-IPHT, approx. 50 fiber trains are realized each year. Together with the neighbouring Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (Fraunhofer-IOF), Leibniz-IPHT operates a fibre competence centre which can be used by external partners within the framework of publicly funded joint projects.

Innovative optical fibers produced at Leibniz IPHT

State-of-the-art preform and fiber fabrication technologies

  • chemical vapor deposition, powder based sintering and crucible melting technology for advanced preform manufacturing within a wide range of compositions, refractive index profiles and core cladding ratios
  • efficient cleaning processes for preparation of extreme pure silica glass
  • drawing towers for research as well as semi-industrial fiber fabrication
  • stack-and-draw processes for complex fibers 

Material research

  • thermodynamics and kinetics of dopant incorporation
  • dopant diffusion processes
  • thermal behavior of undoped and doped silica glasses
  • optical properties of glass bulk and fibers
  • glass transition, crystallization processes, atomic defects   
Modified Chemical Vapor Deposition (MCVD)
Reactive Powder Sintering Process (REPUSIL)
Crucible melting technology

Our competencies

  • rare earth doped fibers and bulk materials
  • microstructured fibers 
  • polarization maintaining fibers 
  • photosensitive fibers 
  • radiation resistant fibers 
  • fibers for chemical, environmental and biological sensing 
  • customer-designed fiber structures 
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