Researchers from Cornell University and
Corning, Inc. have shown that it's possible to preserve the shape, intensity
and color of a very high-power light pulse as it travels through 200 meters
of a fiber-optic cable.
The method could be used to deliver very high-power pulses to
very precise locations for industrial and medical applications, and to
make high-power lasers and amplifiers.
Light contains different wavelengths, or colors. As a light pulse
travels, its wavelengths can shift to a slightly different size, wavelengths
can be diverted to weaken the pulse, and its overall shape can change.
To get around these problems, the researchers used solitons, or
light pulses whose shapes are resistant to change, and sent them through
a hollow optical fiber made from a photonic crystal and filled with xenon
gas rather than air or a vacuum.
The xenon prevented the solitons from shifting toward longer wavelengths.
Making the fiber from photonic crystal enabled the researchers to transmit
pulses stronger than 5 million watts without the pulse losing power or
intensity. Photonic crystals are tiny structures made from rods or perforated
solids that allow certain wavelengths through and block others.
High-power solitons could be used in practical applications within
two years, according to the researchers. The work appeared in the September
19, 2003 issue of Science.
Body network gains speed
Queries guide Web crawlers
Nanowires make flexible
DNA forms nano waffles
Embedded rotors mix
Chip mixes droplets
View from the High Ground Q&A
How It Works
News | Blog
Buy an ad link