Soft-glass PCFs

Soft-glasses such as heavy metal oxides, fluorides and chalcogenides have the potential to extend the transparency window of optical fibres into the deep ultraviolet and mid-infrared regions. In addition, PCFs fabricated from soft-glasses also possess favourable pro­per­ties such as high linear and nonlinear refractive indices, and in some cases offer freedom from UV-induced optical damage and high rare-earth solubility. The stack-and-draw tech­ni­que is well established for fabricating many types of PCF from fused silica. For PCFs made from low-melting-temperature soft glasses, however, techniques such as extrusion and etching provide  excellent alternatives. By careful optimization of the multistep stack-and-draw or extrusion procedures, we have successfully produced fibres for supercontinuum generation, photochemistry, optomechanics, triplet-photon generation, holographic optical tweezing, and other novel applications. A gallery of soft glass PCF structures is shown below.

Examples of solid-core (a-j) and hollow-core (k-n) soft glass PCFs made at MPL.