Waveguides Simultaneously Transmit Short and Long Electromagnetic Waves

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Cross-section of a universal fiber. The blue circles are either air or a material with a different refractive index than the rest of the fiber
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Researchers
Guifang Li, Ph.D.
Fatih Yaman
Managed By
John Miner
Assistant Director 407.882.1136
Patent Protection

Waveguides configured to simultaneously guide electromagnetic waves of different wavelengths

US Patent 8,699,840 B2

Often used to transmit electromagnetic (EM) signals, optical fibers sometimes transmit signals of varying wavelengths, e.g. signals from opposite ends of the EM spectrum, from microwaves to infrared (IR). Due to the fibers’ geometry, these transmissions typically require multiple fibers, where each fiber is configured to guide waves within a limited wavelength range. This large number of fibers increases the complexity of the communication systems utilizing them.

Advantages

To reduce this complexity, UCF researchers have created waveguides capable of simultaneously transmitting both short and long wavelength EM signals. In some cases, these waveguides can transmit signals that have at least a two-fold difference in wavelength. This revolutionary method can be used in nonlinear optical interactions involving EM waves in different bands, and within a universal cable for EM wave transmission, which, for example, can reduce the bulk of cables in Navy vessels. These waveguides can also be used in nonlinear imaging (e.g. excitation in visible/near-infrared wavelengths, fluorescence in IR, and microwaves).

Technical Details

This invention entails waveguides comprised of composite photonic crystal fibers (PCF) with one or more unit cells, each capable of transmitting relatively short wavelength EM signals. The unit cells are arrayed in a hexagonal pattern around a primary core capable of transmitting relatively long wavelength EM signals. The fractal-like geometry of the fibers, where the unit cells also function as PCFs, gives the ability to simultaneously guide waves with very different wavelengths, including waves from opposite ends of the EM spectrum.

Benefits

  • Simultaneous transmission of both short and long wavelength EM waves
  • Reduce cable weight and size

Applications

  • Nonlinear optical interactions
  • Nonlinear imaging