Scientists from the Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials in the Department of Physics at the University of Bath in England have discovered a method to cut the production cycle for hollow-core optical fibers from a week to a single day. Initial tests also show that the new optical fiber outperforms other fibers, making it a key element to developing future optical transmission technologies.
The technique omits several difficult steps to speed the production cycle. It narrows the wall of glass surrounding the center core by a few hundred nanometers, broadening the range of wavelengths that can be transmitted. Previously, hollow-core fibers have been difficult to produce due to the specialized nature of fibers required to transmit light through an air hole.
"This is a major improvement in the development of hollow-core fiber technology," said Professor Jonathan Knight from the University of Bath. Scientists believe the new fiber could lead to faster optical telecommunications, more powerful and accurate laser machining, and a cheaper generation of x-ray or ultra-violet light for biomedical and surgical optics.