The production of microstructured optical fibers is now highly popular, it is based on the creation of fiber perform with the help of the multiple-stage process by stretching the optical fiber. These techniques require the application of complex fiber optic systems, however, this problem has been overcome by a commercial table-top low-cost filament extruder that allows manufacturing optical fibers with complex microstructure in a single step.
It should be noted that the new fiber optic technology is not based on the application of a fiber optic drawing tower, herewith, it is considered to be time, electrical power, and floor space-efficient. The technology has been already tested and demonstrated the production of various optical fiber geometries of high efficiency, for instance, hexagonal-lattice solid core, suspended core, and hollow core.
Optical fibers have greatly changed human life and technology as a whole, being used in numerous areas, where the communication industry dominates. Thus, hundreds of millions of kilometers of optical fibers are employed all around the world now. Herewith, the data traffic continues increasing every year. Fiber optic technology is not a new one, it had an essential development at the end of the 1990s, while the invention of crystal or microstructured optical fibers revolutionized the whole fiber optics.
Additionally, the development of wavelength-scale systems with high index contrast enlarges the opportunity to monitor the fiber optic qualities of the optical fiber. Such optical fiber qualities as chromatic dispersion, modal area, cladding evanescent field, birefringence, and non-linearity greatly depend on the distribution of the concise holes (size, shape, and position). Herewith, standard optical fibers present tiny core/cladding index contrast (<1%).
Compared to the solid core and holey cladding optical fibers with a lower refractive index direct by total internal reflection as standard fibers, hollow-core fiber optic systems, in turn, promote new guiding techniques. The thing is that complex optical fiber designs perform the guidance via photonic bandgap, while simple structures offer low loss transmittance via inhibited coupling or anti-resonance.
Even though most conventional optical fibers are made of silica because of their inimitable properties, it is possible to produce fibers of polymers and non-silica glasses. Thus, the development of microstructured polymer optical fibers leads to the enlargement in the application of traditional fiber optic systems. Finally, the stretching of optical fibers takes a long time because it is a multiple-stage procedure, the main step of which includes the production of an enlarged version of the fiber, the preform.
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