IN THIS SECTION
Dr Natasha Vukovic
Prof. Fei Xu
Narjing University, China
Selex Galileo, Italy
Dr Roberto Lorenzi
University of Milan, Italy
Prof. Zhanqi Song
Changsha University, China
PhD projects with this group
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Optical Microfibre Devices and Sensors
Our group works on the fabrication of devices and sensors based on optical fibre nano-/micro-wires, fibre tapers and couplers, and on the design and fabrication of fibre sensors for X-ray detection. Our particular interest is in devices and sensors based on resonators (Q~105-106). We have the capability of working with both silica and with compound glasses.
Central research themes include:
- Sub-wavelength focusing
- High-Q microcoil resonators
- Mode filtering
- Fabrication of silica optical fibre nanowires
- Manufacture of compound glass optical fibre nanowires
- Singlemode excitation of multimode fibres
- Optical handling of microparticles
- Supercontinuum generation
- Nanowire handling and preservation
- Characterization of glass nanowire properties
In particular, micro- and nano-fibers are of interest for a range of emerging fibre optic applications since they offer a number of enabling optical and mechanical properties:
1) Large evanescent fields. A considerable fraction of the transmitted power can propagate outside the OMNF physical boundary.
2) High nonlinearity. Light can be confined to a very small area over long device lengths allowing the straightforward observation of nonlinear interactions at relatively modest power levels.
3) Strong confinement and flexibility. Because of the small size, OMNFs can easily be bent and manipulated. Bend radii of the order of a few microns can be readily achieved with relatively low induced bend optical loss allowing for highly compact devices with a complex geometry.
4) Low-loss interconnection to other optical fibres and fiberised components. OMNF preserve the original optical fibre dimensions at their input and output allowing easy interconnection to optical fibre components.
Our group has two laboratories which provide 1) tapers from both silica and compound glasses, from few mm to several meters long; 2) embedded microcoil resonators 3) multifibre devices and 4) long period gratings.
Unique equipment include a customised recoater capable to coat long tapers with a selection of fluoro/chlorinated or acrylic coatings and a high energy fs laser with doubling and trebling capabilities.
Available instrumentation include a laminar flow cabinet and conventional equipment used for the characterization of optical devices (SC sources, light sources, OSAs) and multifibre devices (microscopes, IR camera, diameter gauge).
Current research projects:
Fibre nanowire sensors
(EPSRC, Mar 2008-Feb2011)
Much effort has been devoted recently to developing compact devices for chemical and biological sensing, in particular for environmental, aerospace and security applications. The double goal is to increase the sensitivity while simultaneously reducing the size of the devices. Here we propose to apply the emerging technology of optical nanowires to this task, which could reduce device sizes from approximately ten centimetres to the sub-millimetre range combined with unprecedented detector sensitivity.
Exploiting Optical fibre Nanowires: from nano to bio
(Royal Society, Oct2007-Sep2012)
This project relates to the scientific investigation of optical fibre nanowire properties, and the development of novel devices. There is a particular stress to evaluate whether the small size can be associated to exceptional physical properties observed in other type of nanowires.
Carbon nanowires have attracted a tremendous interest in the last decade also because of their outstanding mechanical properties. The molecular bonds in silica are of comparable strength to the carbon bonds in carbon nanotubes and thin silica nanowires could compete with the well established carbon nanowires for strength. The possibility to manufacture extremely long nanowires (as in the case of silica fibres) would revolutionise the field of high-strength materials. Applications to biology will be investigated, including cell sorting and manipulation of biological entities.
Recent research projects:
The fabrication and applications of fibre nanowires and related devices
(EPSRC, Mar 2005-Aug2009)
This EPSRC project is meant to explore the manufacture and exploitation of optical fibre nanowires. The broad aim of this project is to develop nanowire technology and to begin to investigate the use of this know-how in a number of key application areas. Specific targets include: (1) the investigation of the limits in terms of minimum nanowire loss and length for silica nanowires produced using the flame brush technique, (2) the development of the technology to manipulate, handle and preserve nanowire devices; (3) the study, design and manufacture of devices for applications in telecommunication, optics and sensing in biology/chemistry.
Fibre pump bundle arrays
Internal (ORC and UoS):
Advanced Fibre Technologies & Applications (DJR)
Computational Nonlinear Optics (PEH)
Distributed Optical Fibre Sensors (TPN)
Integrated Photonic Devices (JSW)
Politecnico di Torino, Turin (Italy)
Cristal Growth Centre, Anna University, Chennai (India)
University of Luoyang, Luoyang (China)
University College of Cork (Ireland)
University of Surrey (U.K.)
Universita di Milano Bicocca, Milan (Italy)
University of Tartu (Estonia)
University of Sheffield (U.K.)
Work with us:
Please contact Dr Gilberto Brambilla if you would like any further information about the work of our Optical fibre nanowires and related devices group or would be interested to work with us.
Copyright University of Southampton 2006