PhD Studentship Opportunity

Exploring the potential of optical fibres with low
propagation delay sensitivity

This project has funding to cover the Programme fees and a tax free bursary to cover living expenses. The funding is provided jointly by the EPSRC CASE Conversion studentship and the National Physics Laboratory in London. It is available to UK students only. Find out more

Supervisor: Dr Radan Slavik
Co-supervisor: Prof D J Richardson

A signal propagating through an optical fiber is generally considered to be immune to the external environment and associated disturbances. However, this is only true in terms of the signal intensity (power): the optical phase is generally highly sensitive to environmental perturbations, for example, due to temperature variations that induce changes in the fibre refractive index and length. This sensitivity can be detrimental for many systems in which optical fibres are used to transfer complex (amplitude + phase) optical signals, for example, when used in interferometry or for ultra-precise time/frequency transfer applications.

There are several emerging new types of fibres that present significantly lower sensitivity to those used today. This project is concerned with the development of new devices that would greatly benefit from these new fibres.

Two different fibres will be investigated:
(a) based on a specialty-coated fibre and
(b) on hollow-core photonic bandgap fibres (in collaboration with Drs Francesco Poletti and Marco Petrovich from the ORC).

The project is expected to include both theoretical and experimental work including; modelling of devices of interest, the building of these devices and the subsequent precise characterisation of their performance using advanced methods for optical phase characterisation.

Specific ongoing research topics include thermal sensitivity characterisation (proving photonic bandgap fibres have more than 18 times lower sensitivity to temperature than standard fibres) and the realisation of highly-stable delay-line interferometers.

Copyright University of Southampton 2006