Hollow-core fibre discovery wins Best Student Paper at Advanced Photonics Congress
Postgraduate research student Shuichiro Rikimi from the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) has drawn praise at The Optical Society's Advanced Photonics Congress for identifying how post-fabrication treatment could extend the lifespan of hollow-core optical fibres.
The novel research in Southampton's Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics discovered that the internal pressure of a hollow-core post-fabrication is significantly below atmospheric pressure, causing air to rush into the freshly drawn fibre.
Further work will determine how gas species from ambient air, such as water vapour, could then interact with the multiple thin glass membranes in a hollow-core fibre and affect optical and mechanical performance as water molecules are known to do in current solid-core fibres.
The finding was awarded the congress's Best Student Paper prize and will now drive new research into further process developments to maximise their lifetime.
Shuichiro, from the ORC's Hollow Core Fibre (HCF) Group, says: "I am delighted that my work has been recognised by the research community. While the potential for hollow-core fibres in practical applications such as telecoms, gas sensing and high-power laser delivery has been demonstrated by several research groups, few systematic investigations related to the reliability of their performance have been reported.
"In the work presented at the conference, we discovered that air will rush into the holes of a freshly fabricated hollow-core fibres due to the pressure difference. It is a quite surprising result because we do not apply a vacuum to the hollow-core during the fibre drawing process. One of our next steps will now be to study how the in-gassing molecules influence the long-term performance of this next generation fibre."
Ground-breaking research at the ORC is pushing new frontiers in this technology and recently demonstrated record-low 0.28 dB/km loss by antiresonant hollow-core optical fibres.
"I really appreciate the support and guidance I have received from many members of the HCF group and the resources available at the ORC, including access to fibres and necessary equipment," he says. "I would also like to thank Lumenisity Ltd, who are an industrial sponsor of my PhD. I'm very grateful to be working together in this world-leading state-of-the-art group."