Hollow Core Optical Waveguiding Enabled By Zero-Index Materials

Due to their ability to efficiently transmit data across longer distances, optical fibers are widely utilized in high-speed data transmission applications, such as in high-speed internet. Conventional optical fibers function by transmitting light via reflection between a solid glass core, light carrying material, and cladding. Despite the prevalent usage of these conventional solid core optical fibers, the speed, power, and transmission of light in these fibers are critically limited by the glass materials of the core, cladding, and the guiding mechanism.

Researchers at UC Irvine have developed a novel air-guided optical fiber light technology that employs newly developed “zero-refractive index” material as a guiding mechanism. This novel optical fiber technology will improve next-generation optical communication by orders of magnitude in transmission speeds for long-distance communication and time-sensitive short haul communication such as data center interconnects, high-performance computing, and high-frequency trading. In addition, this technology will lead to the development of record high power fiber laser with radiation >1000 GW/cm2 for advanced in-fiber laser applications such as laser surgery/spectroscopy, laser cutting/welding, and military applications, novel gas-filled/discharge laser (not feasible in glass-based fiber), and in-fiber molecular/gas sensing and laser break-down spectroscopy that require high peak power for plasma creation.

Researchers at UC Irvine have developed a novel optical fiber technology that uses newly developed “zero-refractive index” material as a guiding medium, overcoming the significant limitations of conventional optical fiber where light properties are limited by glass core material. This novel technology will dramatically improve optical communication transmission speed and power by orders of magnitude.



Contact Information

Name: Ben Chu

Email: ben.chu@uci.edu

Phone: (949) 824-4768