Scientists have developed technology that allows air to be used to amplify light in new hollow fiber.
Modern optical fiber usually has a strong glass core in which light loses half its intensity after 15 km of propagation. and after 300 km – it is almost impossible to detect it. Therefore, the signal must be regularly amplified..
A research team from the École Polytechnique de lausanne has developed a new type of fiber with an air-filled hollow core. Due to the lower density of the gas, light in it spreads much better and weakens more slowly, but at the same time it becomes harder to influence it..
To solve this problem, the scientists increased the air pressure inside the optical fiber. By controlling the level of resistance, they were able to create evenly spaced clusters of compressed gas molecules to generate a sound wave that increases in amplitude and effectively scatters light from the source in the direction of the attenuated beam, amplifying it up to 100 thousand times.
According to the developers, this technology is applicable to any type of light and gas. This solution can also be used to measure temperature anywhere on the fiber. The ability to control and delay light in a microsecond fiber also allows it to be used to create temporary optical memory.
In addition to new acceleration solutions, scientists are also experimenting with materials. Previously, researchers made optical fibers from algae and even cellulose.
text: Ilya Bauer, photos and videos: EPFL
In the new hollow fiber, the signal is amplified with air