A fibre optic coupler is a fiberised component used as an essential building block in a fibre-based optical system such as a fibre laser, fibre resonator, fibre interferometer or fibre communication network.
However, a conventional fibre coupler is composed of two solid fibres thermally fused side by side. Hence, its performance is limited by a solid core.
The institute has developed a hollow/air core fibre coupler that is based on anti-resonant fibre technology with two air cores in the coupler behaving as an individual anti-resonant fibre core. Anti-resonant features such as broad band transmission and low loss are kept intact with the air core coupler.
An entire transmission window is coupled between the two air cores. The operation spectral range can be customised by adjusting design parameters, as the proprietary fibre structure allows customised designs to be fulfilled via conventional fibre fabrication processes. The coupling ratio is also variable by applying mechanical strain.
The air core fibre coupler offers:
- Air gap-enabled optical power coupling
- Variable coupling strength by mechanical tension
- Air cores that can be customised for desired operation spectral windows
- No optical limitation imposed by material properties
- Design compatible to glass or polymer materials
Potential applications include:
- Mechanically variable fibre coupler or splitter as an alternative to conventional fixed ratio couplers or splitters
- Applications in a mid-IR or UV laser cavity or resonator
- An optical multiplexing device in the emerging air core fibre based network
- Ultrafast laser power splitter/delivery
- Air core fibre-based resonators
- Air core fibre-based interferometers
- Sensors utilising the variable coupling feature
- Sensors utilising the air cores to be filled with functional materials
- A combination of the above
The Singapore institute of higher learning seeks licensing or commercial agreements with technical assistance with MNEs/SMEs of all sizes.