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Intelligent light guiding with
structured optical fibers
Optical fibers provide the basis for modern communication.
Approximately 55 million km are produced annually. To accomplish
better optical characteristics, improvements in
Spectroscopic and biological/medical applications require powerful
extension of the spectral range
broadband light sources. Conventional thermal light sources do
and reduction of dispersion
mostly not achieve sufficient spectral power.
have to be achieved. Individual applications often require special
By using a combination of dispersive and nonlinear optical
materials, dopant adjustments or special fiber structures.
properties the spectral range and power level can be pushed
considerably with microstructured fibers. Super-continuum
radiation across several hundred nanometers with spectral power
densities in the mW/nm range is achieved without fiber degradation
Optical fibers are the backbone of modern communication systems.
Typical application fields are
fiber light sources,
sensor and measurement technology
as well as data transmission over short distances, such as auto-
mobiles and aircrafts.
Microstructured and nanostructured optical waveguides have
opened up whole new possibilities and can change the optical
properties of materials. In optical fibers the optically important
parameters can be influenced in many ways with the help of, for
example, capillaries or/and different dotations. The material in the
core area or cladding area of such fibers contains fine capillary
structures (Figure 1).
To avoid energy losses, dispersion has to be avoided. This “zero dis-
persion shift” (Figure 4) can be regulated in microstructured fibers
through dimensioning of the hollow packing parameters (hole diame-
ter d, distance between holes/pitch Λ (Figure 5).
Quartz glass and air differ from one another in their refractive indices
significantly more than glasses with common dopants (Ge, P, B, F).
Air (or gas) structured quartz fibers achieve extreme numerical
apertures (NA) above 0.6 (Figure 2).
Microstructured optical fibers open a variety of new possibilities to-
day for light sources and sensor technology as well as for applica-
tions in the field of telecommunications.
Higher numerical Aperture, super-continuum radiation and high
A high NA improves the coupling of light.
dispersion management are only three of many possible applications.
Further fiber structures with a diameter of a few hundred nanometers
and thus smaller than conventional fibers by a factor of
approximately 100 to 1000 will continue to augment applications in
 P. St. J. Russell, „Photonic crystal fibers“, Science 2003, Vol. 299, 258-362
B. Eng. Jan Lubkoll
 J Lægsgaard, A. Bjarklev, „Microstructured Optical Fibers - Fundamentals and Applications“, J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 2006, Vol 89 issue 1, p 2-12
 J. Lubkoll et al.: „Optical Data Bus Technologies for Automotive Applications“, The Mediterranean Journal of Electronics and Communications, July 2009
 J. Kirchof et al.: „Photonic Crystal Fibers“, in Photonic crystals: Advances in design, fabrication, and characterization, p. 266-288, Wiley-VCH 2004
 H. Bartelt et al.: „Preparation and application of functionalized photonic crystal fibers“, submitted to Physica Status Solidi –C (2007)