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:

Next-Generation Fibre-Optic Gyroscope

Supervisor: Professor Jayanta Kumar Sahu 
Co-Supervisor: Austin Taranta

The Fibre-Optic Gyroscope (FOG) is a well-established technology used in high-accuracy navigation and pointing applications. An interferometric sensor, the FOG uses a long fibre (often more than 1km) wound into a teacup-sized coil to precisely measure rotation via the Sagnac effect. While FOGs represent a significant fraction of the high-performance navigation market, their basic design has been relatively unchanged for over 25 years. However, recent advances in fibres at the ORC promise to vastly improve the state-of-the-art in FOG design and substantially reduce many of the optical errors that currently limit performance.

The focus of this project is to develop these fibres, optimize them for deployment in FOGs, and explore novel sensor architectures enabled by the improved fibre capability. As FOG technology encompasses a broad range of fields including fibre optics, electro-optics, signal processing, mechanical engineering, etc., this project affords the opportunity for both inter-disciplinary research within the university and close collaboration with industry partners.

Development of high performance rare-earth doped fibres using novel techniques for high-power laser applications

Supervisor: Professor Jayanta Kumar Sahu 
Co-Supervisor: Dr Martin Miguel Angel Nunez Velazquez

The new generation of high-power fibre lasers that are increasingly becoming the light source of choice for a wide range of industrial and scientific applications, have spurred the development of different types of rare-earth doped fibres, each with a unique set of properties to match with the specific applications. Since the fibre design and material properties of the fibre core glass have become critical to the performance of the fibre laser, a more powerful fibre preform fabrication process is required than the current industry standard MCVD (Modified Chemical Vapour Deposition) and solution doping technique. In order to bridge the gap between the ongoing demand for fibre lasers and current rare-earth doping capabilities, this project aims to develop a novel fibre fabrication technique by combining the OVD (outside vapour deposition) process, which is normally used to manufacture telecommunications type optical fibre, and a gas phase based rare-earth doped deposition method.

The proposed technique will offer a highly flexible technology platform to manufacture advanced rare-earth optical fibres, including scaling of the doped preform size, which is difficult to achieve by conventional fabrication method. The successful candidate will have access to the world-class fibre fabrication facilities in the cleanroom. At the end of this project the candidate is expected to have skill sets in specialty optical fibre fabrication. At the same time the candidate will build a strong base in understanding of optical materials and in high power fibre lasers and amplifiers.

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