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Hollow optical fibers for UV light
Date:7/2/2014

This news release is available in German.

If you want to send light on a trip through optical fibres with as little loss as possible, you should opt for infrared light, as is the case, for example, in the telecommunication networks worldwide. For certain applications, such as spectroscopic investigations on ions or atoms, however, (laser) light in the ultraviolet range is required. But this type of light would quickly damage conventional optical fibres. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL) in Erlangen/Germany and of the QUEST Institute, based at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), have tested a new type of optical fibre with a hollow core and have found out that this type of optical fibre was able to guide UV laser light without being damaged and with acceptable loss. Their investigations, which they have recently published in the journal "Optics Express", are interesting for numerous applications: besides precision spectroscopy on atoms or ions and their use in optical atomic clocks or quantum computers, fluorescence microscopy in biology, the investigation of process plasmas, combustion studies on soot or the spectroscopy of greenhouse gases would be other possible fields of application.

Optical fibres usually have a solid glass core. This glass core is coated with an optically thinner material. The laws of physics ensure that a light beam is kept inside such a fibre thanks to total reflection and that it can be transported over long distances without significant loss. Such optical fibres are therefore widely used worldwide to transport light of different spectral ranges from the infrared up to the visible light range. UV light, however, has a shorter wavelength and is therefore strongly absorbed by the glass
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Contact: Piet O. Schmidt
Piet.Schmidt@quantummetrology.de
49-053-159-24700
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)
Source:Eurekalert  

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