The University of Southampton

Compound Glass and Fibres

PhD Projects:

Mid-IR soft glass hollow core fibres

Supervisor: Professor Francesco Poletti
Co-Supervisor: Natalie Wheeler

In this project we aim to develop reliable mid-IR delivery fibres that circumvent the lack of durable and low-loss glasses at these wavelengths. The student will develop a manufacturing platform for compound-glass-based hollow-core fibres based on novel air-guiding designs and made of lower phonon energy, ‘softer’, glasses. Through design optimisation we expect to push the transparency window of hollow fibres made of tellurite, fluoride, and chalcogenide glass to ~7μm, 9μm and 15μm, respectively.

The fibres are expected to offer extremely good modal qualities, leading to unprecedented performances in this wavelength range. Combined with the development of high-power mid-IR III-V semiconductor lasers fabricated at partner centre in Sheffield and with techniques for low cost coupling, this mid-IR platform of flexible sources and single-mode, hollow delivery fibres will open up a host of novel opportunities in gas sensing and spectroscopy.

Novel active glasses, fibres and amplifiers

Supervisor: Professor Francesco Poletti
Co-supervisor: Professor David Richardson

In this project we aim to develop novel glasses for short pulse amplifiers, with the aim of generating unprecedented high peak power in ultrashort ps/fs pulses. This would be of interest, e.g. in the generation of supercontinuum radiation, nonlinear microscopy or industrial manufacturing. By employing glasses with better solubility for rare-earth doping than silica, we will develop very short amplifying fibres, thus allowing the fabrication of compact active devices with very high optical gain per unit length.

The active fibres developed will be used to improve the performance of state-of-the-art amplifiers and lasers developed within the Pulsed Fibre Laser Technology group. This work will exploit a collaboration with the EPSRC National Centre for III-V Technologies the University of Sheffield aimed at integrating amplifiers with state of the art laser sources.

Novel active soft glasses for wide-band optical fibre amplifiers

Supervisor: Professor Francesco Poletti
Co-supervisor: Dr Fedia Ben Slimen

Erbium doped fibre amplifiers (EDFAs), invented at the University of Southampton over 30 years ago, have enabled high capacity long distance optical communications using wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology, which form the basis of our Internet society. However, their finite bandwidth is now proving a bottleneck in the ever growing demand for increased data transmission capacity: new optical amplifiers with wider bandwidth, higher gain flatness and lower noise figure characteristics are required for the next generation of optical telecommunication systems. This is the main topic of this PhD project.

The project will explore the use of novel multi-component soft glasses, rather than silica, as the gain medium, in combination with different rare earth dopants. The target will be the development of optical amplifiers with improved performance and/or guiding at currently uncovered spectral regions. Several effects that contribute to the amplification bandwidth and spectroscopy of an optical amplifier, such as glass host material, rare earth ion doping concentration and fiber design will be investigated. The student will gain valued experience in the chemistry and preparation methods to produce soft glasses, as well as in optical fibre design, characterisation and fabrication.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.