Taylor, E.R., Taylor, D.J., Li, L., Tachibana, M., Townsend, J.E., Wang, J., Wells, P.J., Reekie, L., Morkel, P.R. and Payne, D.N.
Application-specific optical fibres manufactured from multicomponent glasses.
Fleming, J.W., Sigel, G.H., Takahashi, S. and France, P.W. (eds.)
Optical Fiber Materials and Processing.
Materials Research Society.
(MRS Proceedings, 172).
Silica has been mostly used in special fibres because of its low loss transmission. However, some special fibres require short lengths for optimum performance. Among these are current sensors where the bandwidth is an important criterion, most nonlinear optical devices and rare-earth doped fibre lasers. Here, materials with properties optimized for short lengths of a few metres are favoured. These are typically multicomponent compound glasses. The composition of these glasses can be tailored to the application intended. By use of established glass melting, glass forming and fibre fabrication techniques, all optical devices can be made compatible with conventional monomode silica-based fibres. We have fabricated optical fibres from both commercially available and new component glass melts. Fibres with losses close to the intrinsic loss of the bulk glass precursors are obtainable using a rod-in-tube technique. The intrinsic loss is generally two orders of magnitude larger than silica. The objective of this presentation is to demonstrate the potential and practicality of using compound glass fibres for application in nonlinear devices, fibre sensors and fibre lasers.
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