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Extruded tellurite photonic crystal fibre

A. Wang, V. V. Ravi Kanth Kumar, Alan K. George, J. C. Knight, P. St. J. Russell
Optoelectronics Group, Department of Physics, University of Bath, BA2 7AY, U.K. Tel: +44(0) 1225-385007, Fax: +44(0) 1225-386110, email:

Abstract: We report the fabrication and properties of extruded tellurite photonic crystal fibres (PCFs). The spectral attenuation curve and dispersion curve of the solid-core tellurite PCFs are provided here. We also describe possible applications of tellurite PCFs in infrared supercontinuum generation and in new forms of hollow-core fibres. 1. Introduction The first working example of a photonic crystal fibre (PCF) was demonstrated in 1996 [1]. Since then most PCF performs have been made from a supply of silica tubes and rods by stack and draw processes. Extrusion is an alternative fabrication technology for PCF preforms [2], and this has recently been extended to the use of soft glasses [3]. Tellurite glasses offer a range of useful properties not possessed by silica, such as high refractive index, good infrared transmittance, high optical nonlinearity and relatively low phonon energy among oxide glasses [4]. At the same time, tellurite glasses are more stable than fluoride glasses and have higher rare earth solubilities than chalcogenide glasses. The high refractive index (around 2.1) makes tellurite glass a very attractive candidate for a new type of bandgap PCF, as reported in [5]. In this paper we describe the fabrication and transmission characteristics of a low-loss solid-core tellurite-based PCF, and report the dispersion curve of a different PCF with smaller core (around 2μm) for supercontinuum generation. 2. Fabrication We have fabricated PCF using two tellurite glass compositions. Cylindrical glass billets of composition 5Na2CO3-20ZnO-75TeO2 (Tellurite A, a well-known composition for fibre drawing [4]) and 75TeO2-12ZnO5PbO-3PbF2-5Nb2O5 (Tellurite B) were cast with diameters 20mm and lengths 50mm. The extrusion methods are the same for these two glasses. We adapted a direct or forward extrusion process (where product and punch move in same direction) to produce both preforms and jacketing tubes. The extrusion rig was mounted vertically on an existing fibre-drawing tower, and the drawing furnace was used as the heat source. We used a pneumatic actuator attached to the punch to force billets through the dies. The extruded glass was then drawn directly from the die to create preforms of 1mm outer dimension. We also extruded jacketing tubes of 1.2mm internal diameter and 2.5mm outer diameter in a similar fashion. We then jacketed the preforms and used them to draw fibres of tens of meter lengths without any difficulties. By varying the drawing conditions we were able to obtain fibres with core diameters in the range of 2-7μm.

Fig.1(a) Photograph showing the cross-section of the die used for extrusion, outer diameter for the hole: 12mm, (b) Electron micrograph of a tellurite preform, outer diameter 1mm, (c) Electron micrograph of tellurite PCF and (d) optical microscopic transmission view of a tellurite PCF.

and a core diameter of 7µm.7μm).1 (c) supports many modes.1 (a & b). which are caused by crystallization during extrusion process.5 1. A typical minimum loss measured in our fibre is 2. with a working range of around 209°C compared to 112°C for Tellurite A. we have easily excited primarily the fundamental mode using laser sources. Tellurite B is also less susceptible to crystallization against the die walls during the extrusion process. Although the fibre in Fig. 3.6 Wavelength(μm) .0 1.1 (c) shows an electron micrograph of a fibre cross-section.3dB/m at 1055nm.1 (d)) shows bright guided light transmitted through the core. composition B was found to be more suitable for extruded PCF. and may be significantly reduced by using optical-grade chemicals for forming the glass billets. Overall.1 1. The cutback measurement was done on a fibre length of 2.Fabricating soft-glass fibres is more difficult than silica fibres due to the smaller working temperature range. the viscosity of soft glasses changes far more sharply with temperature.2 1. This fibre has an outer diameter of 190μm. We 0 D(ps/km/nm) -500 -1000 Solid line: Dispersion Curve of 2 micron core Tellurite PCF Dash line: Dispersion Curve of Bulk Tellurite Glass B 1. The minimum measured loss in this fibre is 2. which shows a view through the die used for extruding the preforms. very effectively isolating the core optically from the outer jacket. 4.2. The core is suspended by strands of just 100nm thickness and 70µm length. The size of the core is 7µm. Also. 14 12 10 dB / m 8 6 4 2 0 500 625 750 875 1000 1125 1250 1375 1500 1625 1750 Wavelength nm Fig. Results of our extrusion process are shown in Fig. Another component of the overall loss is the presence of discrete scattering points in the fibre. The similarity between the shape of the extrusion die and that of the extruded preform demonstrates that the temperature and pressure used were close to optimal.5m The optical micrograph (Fig.2 Measured spectral attenuation in a tellurite PCF. and a micrograph of the preform respectively. Another advantage of Tellurite B is that it does not contain Na. we need to make a smaller-core fibre (much smaller than 7µm mentioned above) to increase the nonlinear response and to shift the zero-dispersion wavelength to around 1550nm. Basic Waveguiding Properties Fig. which is known to increase the intrinsic attenuation on the long-wavelength side of the spectrum (around 2. The loss in the fibre is partly due to the bulk glass used for PCF fabrication. The spectral attenuation measured using a cut-back technique is shown in Fig. Small-core PCF for Supercontinuum Generation For supercontinuum generation.3 1.3 dB/m.4 1. Tellurite B is favourable in this regard.

1547-1549 (1996). Bulk tellurite glass always has normal dispersion in the telecommunication wavelength. 546-547 (2002).5×10-19m2/W [4]. Agrawal. C. El-Mallawany. 5. and P. Russell and D.3dB/m at a wavelength of 1055nm. Allan et al. indicating that a slightly larger core diameter is required to set the zerodispersion wavelength to 1. 4. Optical Express. . J.C. R.Frampton. The core is suspended by six strands with the length of 16µm. 10. Netherlands (2001). we will fabricate a fibre with the core diameter of a little larger than 2µm.55µm. 6. D. 2854-2861 (2003). Optical Materials 3. In this paper we demonstrated the spectral attenuation curve of the tellurite PCF of 7µm core diameter with minimum attenuation of 2. we calculated the nonlinear coefficient [7]. we have a plan to take advantage of the high refractive index of tellurite glass to fabricate hollow-core tellurite PCFs. 2. To make the tellurite PCF with 1. Nonlinear Fiber optics (Academic Press). N. Ed. T.L Chase and E.3. Pottage.1km-1-W-1 at 1550nm. Hedley. P. J. “All-silica single-mode photonic crystal fiber”. S. In the future. Rutt. 2002). 187-203 (1994). Monro. Weber Ed. Birks. Electronics Letters 38. J. Boca Raton (1995). A. J. St. K. H. We then can use it for supercontinuum generation into the mid-infra-red. CRC Press. Atkin. 5. G. M. Wang. T. Using this Aeff value and n2 = 2. C. Roberts. 11. A. References 1. Snitzer. St.Fig.4µm. A. L. Vogel and E. in Photonic Crystals and light localization in the 21st Century. Van Stryland . J. 7. K. 2. E. P. Hewak. T. 3. P. in CRC Handbook of Laser Science and Technology Suppl. 8.3 Dispersion curves of the fibre with 2µm core (solid line) and bulk tellurite B glass (dash line) drew a PCF with 2µm core diameter and 120μm outer diameter.55µm zerodispersion wavelength. “Robust photonic band gaps for hollow core guidance in PCF made from high index glass”. Knight. Moore.7µm2. David Bird. Chap. Chap. Russell. Knight. J. 2. M. γ = 596. “Tellurite glass: a new candidate for fiber devices”. J. “ Extruded singlemode non-silica glass holey optical fibers”. M. Tellurite glasses handbook physical properties and data (CRC Press. M. C. Group velocity dispersion curves of this fibre and the bulk Tellurite B glass (materials for this fibre) were measured using low coherence interferometry and the results are shown in Fig. We have computed the effective area [7] of the fibre to be Aeff = 1. and we have studied the waveguiding properties of the fibres. For this 2µm core fibre. pg 305. T. we can see that the zerodispersion wavelength is 1. Conclusions We successfully fabricated tellurite PCF using extrusion. J. Tucknott. Kiang. Birks. with which we hope to demonstrate reduced attenuation in the mid-infra-red compared to state-of-the-art conventional fibres. D.W. Kluwer. 6. Optical Letter 21. M. J. J. “Nonlinear Optical Properties”.. R.W. D. Richardson and H. M. M. Soukoulis. D.