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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C00504X/1
Title: The fabrication and applications of fibre nanowires and related devices
Principal Investigator: Richardson, Professor DJ
Other Investigators:
Loh, Dr WH Brambilla, Professor G Wilkinson, Professor JS
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr P Horak
Project Partners:
Department: Optoelectronics Research Ctr (closed)
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 March 2005 Ends: 31 August 2009 Value (£): 247,515
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biological & Medicinal Chem. Energy Efficiency
Materials Processing Medical science & disease
Optical Communications Optical Devices & Subsystems
Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy Communications
Electronics Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The development of optical nanowires, i.e. fine optical fibres with a sub-micron diameter, and nanowire devices has generated significant scientific and technological interest subsequent to the first report on the fabrication of low loss (<0.1dB/mm) silica nanowires in a Nature paper by Tong et al. in Dec 2003. In a recent publication we have demonstrated a further ~18dB loss reduction for nanowires using a far simpler process based on minor modifications to the conventional flame based tapering technique currently used for commercial micron scale fibre taper and coupler production. We have also demonstrated >10cm long nanofibres based on this approach - two times longer than previous reported by Tong et al.. The aim of this project is to further develop nanowire technology and to begin to investigate use of the technology in a number of key application areas. Specifically we propose to (1) investigate the limits in terms of minimum nanowire loss and length for silica nanowires produced using the flame brush technique, and to develop microheater based approaches for the production of non-silica nanofibres, (2) to develop the technology to manipulate, handle and preserve nanofibre devices, and (3) to study, design and manufacture devices for applications in telecommunication, optics and sensing in biology/chemistry. We place particular emphasis within this project on the development of nonsilica based nanofibres, particularly those with a high optical nonlinearity such as lead silicate and bismuthate glasses, as this will reduce the powers required to obtain a supercontinuum down to practical levels and allow applications of nanofibres in spectral regions that are currently precluded by the absorption of silica. If successful this project should lead amongst others to new techniques to manipulate and detect living cells, new ways to connect fibres, waveguides and optical circuits with low loss, high-finesse filters and dispersive elements, and new optical sources for defence, medical, display and aerospace applications.
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk