Experimental Glass Developed to Amplify Optical Light Signals

Fiber-optic cable has become an essential element of communication network. As people want more bandwidth, scientists are conducting experiments to enhance the optical amplifiers. Elements such as ytterbium and erbium help to boost light signals when laser light is directed on them. However, productive light amplifications in rare earth ions have been difficult to develop and needs advanced materials.

Now a group of researchers from the City University of Hong Kong, and China’s Dalian Polytechnic University has developed an experimental glass that will amplify optical light signals. The researchers integrated alkaline earth elements including potassium, lithium, lead, barium, and gallium to an oxide glass that has been doped with samarium earth ion.

These materials have lowest phonon energy among all oxide glasses. This might help to stimulate multi-channel fluorescence emissions, as well as to improve samarium ions’ quantum efficiencies. The experimental glass generated infrared energy at 1185 nm of wavelength, during lab tests. The research results indicate that addition of samarium ion to heavy metal gallate glass is a worthy experiment for use in lasers and fiber optic networks.

Source: http://www.aip.org/

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