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

used in most types of optical fibres and the fibres are quickly damaged by UV light.

At the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL) in Erlangen, experiments with other types of optical fibre have been carried out for a few years. Now, it has turned out that a certain type of optical fibre is particularly well-suited for UV light: a microstructured photonic crystal fibre (PCF) with a so-called "Kagome structure" a special pattern consisting of triangles and of hexagons in a regular arrangement and a hollow core of 20 m in diameter. This core ensures a single-mode guiding of the light i.e. with a spatial intensity distribution similar to the shape of a Gaussian bell-shaped curve. The crucial question was to know whether this transport was really single-mode and damage-free, and this is what the metrological experts from the QUEST Institute at PTB had to find out. Their investigations have shown that in the case of the UV beam used, with a wavelength of 280 nm, single-mode transmission was possible and that even after more than 100 hours in operation at a power of 15 mW, no UV-induced damage could be detected.

The optical fibres have even passed a first application test: the researchers at the QUEST Institute have used them successfully for their spectroscopic investigations on trapped ions. Stabilized by the new fibre, the UV laser beam allows an improved interrogation of the ions' internal state. Besides the users of such spectroscopic methods (for example in astronomy, chemistry or fundamental research in physics), this could also be useful for researchers who are developing quantum computers, since in that field, the internal states of a particle are the new digital 0s and 1s. es/ptb


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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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