Stack and draw fabrication of soft glass microstructured fiber optics

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A broad review is given of microstructured fiber optics components - light guides, image guides, multicapillary arrays, and photonic crystal fibers - fabricated using the stack-and-draw method from various in-house synthesized oxide soft glasses at the Glass Department of the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology (ITME). The discussion covers fundamental aspects of stack-and-draw technology used at ITME, through design methods, soft glass material issues and parameters, to demonstration of representative examples of fabricated structures and an experimental characterization of their optical properties and results obtained in typical applications. Specifically, demonstrators include microstructured image guides providing resolution of up to 16000 pixels sized up to 20 μm in diameter, and various photonic crystal fibers (PCFs): index-guiding regular lattice air-hole PCFs, hollow core photonic bandgap PCFs, or specialty PCFs like highly birefringent microstructured fibers or highly nonlinear fibers for supercontinuum generation. The presented content is put into context of previous work in the area reported by the group of authors, as well as other research teams.

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