Air-filled fiber cables capable of outperforming standard optical fibers

The next generation of optical fiber could be a step closer as a new study has shown that fibers with a hollowed out center, created in Southampton, could reduce loss of power currently experienced in standard glass fibers.Get more news about Optical Cable Filling,you can vist our website!

The COVID-19 crisis has seen people all over the world rapidly move their work and social lives online and communities have never relied on the internet more. The ever-increasing number of Zoom calls and webinars has highlighted the need to keep advancing the technology that has made this possible.

For over 50 years, optical fibers made of silica glass have been the transmission medium of choice for high-speed optical communications—powering the global internet and cloud-based services used by households and businesses around the world. They are also used for sensing oil and gas installations, structural monitoring for railways and bridges, medical endoscopes and many more applications as part of a $40 billion global market.

However, due to "scattering" of the light inside the glass, a fraction of the transmitted power is lost, a process known as attenuation, and this power loss becomes increasingly more of a problem as the wavelength of light is shortened. This higher transmission loss through the fiber poses a serious limitation to the performance of all applications that require shorter wavelengths.

In this new study, published in Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Southampton have demonstrated that guiding light through air filled fibers offers a potential way to overcome this insurmountable attenuation limit set by the glass's scattering.

A team from the University's Optoelectronics Research Center (ORC) created three different hollow core fibers, with losses comparable or lower than that achieved in solid glass fibers around technologically relevant wavelengths of 660, 850 and 1,060 nanometres. The lower attenuation, in a fiber that guides light through air, offers the potential for advances in quantum communications, data transmission, and laser power delivery.

Professor Francesco Polettifrom the ORC said, "Many alternative glass types and waveguide technologies have been investigated since the 1970s to try to solve this problem, all to no avail."

"Our findings show that hollow core fibers have the potential to outperform the current optical fibers at various wavelengths used in optical technology today. Not only do they have lower attenuation, they can also withstand higher laser intensities, such as those needed to melt rocks and drill oil wells, as well as produce more efficient lasers for manufacturing."