Optical fibers and devices
The large-scale deployment of telecommunications networks continues to drive research and innovation in optical fibers and devices. Fibers with an anti-resonant guiding structure reduce latency, and multi-mode or multi-core fibers multiply system capacity.
At the same time, several advances in doped fibers have made fiber lasers the technology of choice for efficient, robust and compact laser sources. Powerful, pulsed or tunable fiber lasers find applications ranging from industrial processes to biomedical sciences, while fiber-optic devices can modify the spectral, temporal or polarization properties of light in a linear or non-linear fashion. Fibers and devices are exploited in sensor systems to increase the quantity and quality of measurements. For short-distance interconnections, waveguides are designed with great flexibility thanks to direct writing by exposure to ultrashort pulses, an approach that enables the fabrication of 3D integrated devices.
Much of this progress has been made in the near-infrared spectral region, and a major challenge over the next few years will be to enable the exploitation of new spectral windows including, for example, the mid-infrared and terahertz. By way of example, new opportunities are emerging for THz waveguides due to the rapid proliferation of 5G and 6G wireless communication networks operating in the lower sub-THz frequency band, which can be generated by electronic or optical means.
The optical fibers and devices axis focuses on four research themes whose objectives are to respond to the following challenges:
- What new materials and manufacturing technologies will enable us to design and manufacture optical fibers that provide access to new spectral bands?
- How can new functionalities be integrated into optical fibers to improve the performance of photonic systems?
- How can photonic devices be designed to improve connectivity between the various elements of photonic systems?
- What devices and optical fibers will enable us to harvest or transmit the maximum amount of information by exploiting the various properties of light?
This line of research is an essential vector of change for achieving several of the UN’s sustainable development goals, including the deployment of telecommunications networks for quality education accessible to all, which will help reduce inequalities; the development of innovative solutions, including lasers and sensors for industry and infrastructure; and research into diagnostic tools for health and well-being.
Head of research
Professor, Polytechnique Montréal
Lawrence R. Chen
Broadband optical fibers
Optical fibers for photonic systems (telecommunications, sensors, biophotonics)
Light shaping devices
Fiber optic or photo-inscribed devices enabling