The University of Southampton

Silica Fibre Fabrication

Fabrication of silica based optical fibre has been the core of the ORC’s fibre research since the formation of the ORC. Silica optical fibre and devices made from these types of fibre form the majority of the components used in the optical telecommunications industry as well as many other uses in high power lasers, sensing, light transmission etc. 

At the ORC we have access to a multi-million pound cleanroom equipped with several systems for fabrication and research on most aspects of silica fibres. The work of the fibre fabrication group is interdisciplinary. Candidates to work in this group require a background in any one of materials science, physics, engineering and chemistry.

Group webpage 

PhD Project:

New generation rare-earth doped fibres for high-power eye-safe lasers.

Supervisor: Professor Jayanta Kumar Sahu 

The deployment of high-power fibre laser in scientific, defence and industrial markets has increased significantly in the last decade, due to their ability to offer an excellent beam quality, superior performance, reliability, low maintenance, and small footprint. To date, the highest values of output power and laser efficiency have been achieved at a wavelength of around 1µm from ytterbium-doped silica fibres. There has now been an increasing interest in power scaling of fibre lasers operating in the 1.55 – 2.2 µm eye-safe wavelength region. In this project, we aim to develop efficient erbium, thulium, and holmium - doped silica fibres using a vapor phase doping technique for incorporating rare earths in optical fibres combined with modified chemical vapor deposition (MCVD) or outside vapor deposition (OVD) process. This method offers a highly flexible platform to fabricate advanced rare earth doped fibres with a tailored dopant profile and a large core as required for the new generation of high power fibre lasers and amplifiers. We will perform spectroscopy study as well as high power laser tests to guide the development of rare earth doped fibres for efficient operation in the 1.5 -2.2 wavelength range. Also, novel large-mode-area fibres will be realized for power scaling of pulsed and CW fibre lasers and amplifiers.

The project is suitable for someone with a background in physics/chemistry/materials science/engineering, and with a strong interest in advanced fibre technologies.

Development of efficient bismuth-doped fibre lasers and amplifiers

Supervisor: Professor Jayanta Kumar Sahu 

The revolution in optical telecommunications was primarily enabled by the invention of erbium (Er) doped fibre amplifier (EDFA). The EDFA operates over a narrow wavelength band from 1530 – 1620nm (C and L bands) and thus most optical communication systems today are limited around this wavelength band. The availability of optical amplifiers outside the Er emission band will increase the number of wavelength channels supported by a single-mode optical fibre to provide a solution to increasing capacity demand.

Recent demonstrations of bismuth (Bi) doped fibre amplifiers and lasers in the near-IR region indicate that this material may become the solution for wideband amplifiers, filling the gap in the low-loss transmission window (1250 – 1700nm) of single-mode fibre.

In this project, we aim to develop efficient Bi-doped fibres, spectroscopy study to understand near-IR luminescence in bismuth doped fibres, and demonstrate wideband amplifiers covering the wavelength spans 1150 – 1500nm and 1620 – 1750nm. In addition, the broad gain spectra of bismuth is suitable for short pulse generation. We will investigate short pulse (ps – fs) bismuth doped fibre lasers by various mode-locking techniques.





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