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Proceedings Paper

Fluoride glass fibers: applications and prospects
Author(s): Marcel Poulain
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Paper Abstract

Fluoride glass fibers have been intensively developed for the last 20 years. A major effort was devoted to the fabrication of low loss fibers for repeaterless long haul telecommunications. This step which ended in the late eighties provided the basic technology for the manufacturing of multimode and single mode fibers with minimum losses below 10 dB/km. Such fibers area now used for various passive applications requiring the handling of IR signal. In this respect, fluoride fibers are complementary to silica fibers when wavelength exceeds 2 micrometers . Some practical set ups are operating for IR imaging, remote spectroscopy and thermometry. Special fibers such as polarization maintaining fibers have been developed for interferometric astronomy, which could also apply to sensors. UV transmission has still to be developed. Laser power delivery is another field of application for these fibers. YAG:Er laser at 2.9 micrometers attracts a growing interest for medical applications, ophthalmology and dentistry, while prospects for CO laser are positive. Active fibers are based on rare earth doped single mode fibers. They lead to the definition of numerous new laser lines and emphasized the potential of up conversion for the generation of visible light using IR pumping laser diodes. High power output has been achieved in the blue and the red light, which open prospects for compact and all solid state fiber lasers for a wide range of applications, from displays to medical uses. Optical amplification makes another field of R and D centered on telecommunication needs. Pr3+ doped fluoride fibers have been used for the 1.3 micrometers band, and Er based fluoride fiber amplifiers exhibit wider and flatter gain than those made from silica. Optical amplification may be implemented at other wavelengths for more general purposes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 September 1998
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3416, Infrared Glass Optical Fibers and Their Applications, (28 September 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.323374
Show Author Affiliations
Marcel Poulain, Univ. de Rennes I (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3416:
Infrared Glass Optical Fibers and Their Applications
Mohammed Saad, Editor(s)

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