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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S036369/1
Title: Composite material hollow core fibres for active photonics
Principal Investigator: Sazio, Dr P
Other Investigators:
Hewak, Professor D Zervas, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr W Belardi
Project Partners:
Pennsylvania State University Southampton Photonics Ltd
Department: Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC)
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 December 2019 Ends: 30 November 2023 Value (£): 782,767
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Synthesis & Growth
Optical Communications Optical Devices & Subsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
09 Apr 2019 EPSRC Physical Sciences - April 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Optical fibres form the physical layer of the remarkable >2 billion km long global telecommunications network, currently bifurcating and expanding at a rate >Mach 20, i.e. over 14000 ft/sec (source: Corning.com). They are also an essential component in devices such as lasers, optical amplifiers, gyroscopes, gas or environmental sensors, as well as a means to locally link devices and applications. One of the most significant advances in optical fibre technology over the last 20 years has been the realisation of silica fibres that are able to internally guide light using an air core rather than glass. Hollow Core Photonic Bandgap Fibres (HC-PBGFs) were first demonstrated in the late 1990s. Researchers uncovered remarkable physics, demonstrating that these fibres were able to transmit high optical powers, ultrashort pulses and wavelengths regions including the mid-IR which cannot be delivered through standard optical fibres. A number of important applications can be targeted within these wavelength regions and in particular mid-infrared light can be used to detect a wide range of chemical, biological or physical species (e.g. to identify explosives on surfaces, hazardous air pollutants in the environment, or biomarkers in the breath of a patient).

The last few years have seen dramatic progress in the area of hollow fibres and in particular the development of a competing technology to photonic bandgap fibres based on a much simpler optical design, which are far easier to fabricate for both short and long wavelength transmission and have been demonstrated to have a greatly reduced overlap between the light travelling within the fibre and the silica forming the cladding. This novel form of hollow core optical waveguide is known as the anti-resonant fibre. In this proposal, we will demonstrate an innovative waveguide platform based on composite material hollow core fibres which are able not only to transmit optical signals with low attenuation over a broad wavelength range of operation, but can also actively manage and control the transmitted signals, through modulation, amplification or light generation and frequency conversion.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk