Pressure parameter transforms optical fibers

Recent developments of optical fibers made of silica glass under the high level of pressure advance essentially improved data transmission. To be more precise, a team of researchers from the U.S. has demonstrated a fiber optic technology that applies computer simulations and shows a significant reduction (more than half) of signal loss when using silica glass fiber optic systems, thus, resulting in longer distances for data transmission without any amplification.

The thing is that the development of optical fibers made of silica glass material plays a crucial role in the communication industry, however,  there were several challenges in understanding their atomic level. New results of the research allow scientists to perform future physical experiments and production processes despite all technical difficulties.

It should be noted that optical fibers have greatly transformed high-bandwidth, long-distance communication all over the world. Generally, most fiber optic cables are made of tiny threads of silica glass that are a little bit bigger than a human hair. Herewith, this material offers such advantages for fiber optic systems as high reliability, flexibility, a good transmission parameter, and a pretty low cost.

Nevertheless, the light used in the fiber cable and being scattered leads to non-achieving of the signal its final destination. Of course,  various amplifiers and other devices are employed to maintain this information but there are additional spendings, and the only solution is the development of fiber optic technology that helps to decrease light scattering to increase data transmission and promote quantum communication.

Thus, the team uses several computational techniques to make predictions connecting the atomic structure of silica glass under high temperatures and high pressure to create a better fiber optic system. The researchers claim that “when the glass for optical fibers is heated up and then cooled down under 4 gigapascals (GPa), most of the large voids disappear and the glass takes on a much more uniform lattice structure.”

Finally, such a fiber optic technology helps to decrease the number and size of big voids in the structures of optical fibers that provoke the appearance of light scattering and degradation of signal loss by more than a half. Additionally, this is not a final and the team affirms that numerous improvements of optical fibers can be made in the future thanks to the application of a slower cooling rate at higher pressure.

Such a fiber optic technology can be used to discover other types of inorganic glass with similar structures but the production of such optical fibers remains still difficult at an industrial scale. Knowing the ideal pressure parameter for fiber optic systems promotes the development of high-pressure manufacturing tools thanks to the ultra-transparent silica glass material.

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