March 11, 2008 -- In 18 papers presented at last month's OFC/NFOEC 2008 in San Diego, the fiber-optic product provider OFS' R&D segment announced a variety of research developments highlighting advanced concepts in optical fiber design and applications.
"The recent developments can enable users to further reduce cost in optical networks while allowing more efficient transmission of data through fiber," comments David DiGiovanni, president of OFS Laboratories. "We are at the vanguard of turning science into practical, real world solutions, many that are ubiquitous in the industry today. It's no different with these published advances…at OFC/NFOEC."
According to a press release issued by the company, key papers presented at the conference included the following:
Generation of Radially Polarised Beams for Optical Fibers (OthV2)
Researchers have worked for many years to create radially-polarized light, since it has superior focusing and propagation characteristics as compared to more conventional linear or random polarization. Of great interest currently is the fact that radially-polarized light has much stronger optical-material interaction and can improve the quality of laser applications, such as cutting, welding or drilling. OFS researchers have found an elegant and simple way of converting the output of a conventional fiber device to radial polarization.
"This is expected to open a vast array of applications and new device opportunities," says DiGiovanni. "While OFS Labs is at the forefront of this research, I expect we'll see other groups duplicating and extending this work."
Bend Insensitive Fiber Design Strategies (NTuC3)
A hot topic at this year's OFC/NFOEC, this paper on Bend Insensitive Fiber Design Strategies discusses cost-effective design techniques for reducing fiber loss and allowing fiber penetration deeper to the end user. OFS authors emphasize the fundamental understanding of the physics of bend loss, predictions of long-term reliability in highly-bent fiber, compatible splicing and connector technology, and the impact of bending on mode coupling and signal distortion.
At OFC, Furukawa Electric Co. (FEC), parent company to OFS, also showcased several papers on bend-insensitive multimode fibers and fibers for optical interconnects.
Innovation in Amplifier Technologies (OWU3, JThA47 and OThN4)
Amplifier technologies remains a robust field for innovation, as OFS researchers seek to improve amplifier performance and cost-effectiveness. The research includes the application of air-cladding technology in erbium-doped fiber to improve both bandwidth and efficiency for higher-power applications such as CATV, as well as improved Raman amplification to allow practical, increased reach of telecommunications networks.