Compound Glass and Fibres Research Group

The Compound Glass Fibre Research Group, led by Dr Francesco Poletti, is one of the four ORC's world renowned fibre fabrication groups.

The group’s activities span from fundamental glass research to the development of a vast range of compound glass and multimaterial fibres. We are supported by world-class fabrication facilities and a strong background in fibre design and material science.

Over the years the group has developed many innovative preform making, fibre drawing and fibre post-processing methods, which have led to several world-firsts in non-silica glass fibres. Our fibres are used in areas as diverse as; sensing, telecommunications, infrared imaging, particle physics and medicine.

We have a strong network of collaborations around the world and we welcome formal and informal contacts from industry or academic departments wishing to collaborate with us.


Novel preform development and fabrication

Research themes and interests

Development of novel glass compositions

Fibres for neutron detection

Highly nonlinear fibres

Multimaterial fibres

Glass extrusion techniques

Poled fibres

Nanomechanical fibres

Hollow core fibres

Glass rolling methods

Dispersion controlled fibres

Infrared transmitting fibres

Active non-silica fibres

Electro-statically actuated fibres

Biodegradable fibres

Research facilities

Our facilities include a wide range of specialized equipment housed in a state-of-the-art cleanroom complex for glass making, preform assembling and fibre drawing. Within the Department we have access to a range of state-of-the-art thermal, optical, electrical, chemical and mechanical characterization equipment, as well as ultra-high resolution imaging tools.

Current Research Projects

•   Development of nanomechanical and nanoelectromechanical fibres
•   Development of highly nonlinear glasses and fibres
•   Development of mid-IR transmitting glasses and fibres 
•   Development of novel preform-making techniques

Find out more about the PhD projects available with Compound Glass and Fibres.


Development of nanomechanical and nanoelectromechanical fibres


Development of highly nonlinear glasses and fibres


Development of mid-IR transmitting glasses and fibres

Past research projects and achievements

- Development of halo-tellurite nonlinear fibres for mid-IR applications (2013)
- Nanomechanical optical fibres (2012) - Development of dispersion controlled
  highly nonlinear fibres (2010)
- Record high nonlinearity in a dispersion flattened, single mode fibre (2010)
- Extremely large mode area non-silica glass microstructured fibre (2008)
- Dispersion tailored highly nonlinear fibre (2005, ECOC postdeadline)
- Record high nonlinearity in an optical fibre (2006)
- First extruded microstructured non-silica glass fibre (2002)

Internal collaborations

- Optical fibre communications
- Advanced Fibre Technologies & Applications
- Computational nonlinear optics
- Advanced Fibre Technologies and Applications
- Fibre Bragg Gratings
- Pulsed Fibre Laser technology
- Optical Microfibre Devices and Sensors
- Computational fluid dynamics

External collaborations

- BAE Systems (UK)
- FiberCore (UK)
- EDF energy (UK)
- Unitel (Brazil)
- Department of nuclear engineering, University of Tennessee (US)
- Institute of Photonics and Electronics (IPE), the Academy of Sciences of
   the Czech Republic
- Laboratory of Glasses and Ceramics, University of Rennes I (France)
- Nanjing University, Nanjing (China)
- PERFOS, R&D platform of Photonics Bretagne (France)
- Beijing University of Technology, Beijing (China)
- Yangtze Optical Electronic (YOEC) (China)
- Fudan University, Shanghai (China)

Work with us

We are always open to collaborative projects and to offer opportunities for work placements. Please contact Dr Francesco Poletti for more details.

PhD opportunities

We are currently seeking PhD students for experimental works in the area of compound glass fibre fabrication and novel glass development and for theoretical projects on the design of novel optical fibres.

Key publications

• J.Shi, X.Feng, Z.G.Lian, N.White, P.Horak, W.H.Loh, A sheet-stacking technique for making multiple air-suspended-core optical fibres, Workshop on Speciality Optical Fibers and their Applications (WSOF) 2013 Sigtuna Sweden 28-30 Aug 2013;

• X.Feng, J.Shi, M.Segura, N.M.White, K.Pradeesh, W.H.Loh, L.Calvez, X.Zhang, L.Brilland, Halo-tellurite glass fiber with low OH content for 2-5μm mid-infrared nonlinear applications, Optics Express 2013 Vol.21(16) pp.18949-18954

• Z.G.Lian, P.Horak, X.Feng, L.Xiao, K.Frampton, N.White, J.A.Tucknott, H.Rutt, D.N.Payne, W.Stewart, W.H.Loh, Nanomechanical optical fiber, Optics Express 2012 Vol.20(28) pp.29386-29394;

• X.Feng, J.D.Shi, C.C.Huang, P.Horak, P.S.Teh, S.-U.Alam, M.Ibsen, W.H.Loh, Laser-induced crystalline optical waveguide in glass fiber format, Optics Express 2012 Vol.20(26) pp.B85-B93;

• Z.G.Lian, J.A.Tucknott, N.White, L.Xiao, X.Feng, D.N.Payne, W.H.Loh, Technique for fabricating complex structured fibers by rolling of glass preforms, European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) Geneva, Switzerland 18-22 Sept 2011;

• Z.G.Lian, X.Feng, P.Horak, L.Xiao, Y.Jeong, N.White, K.Frampton, J.A.Tucknott, H.N.Rutt, D.N.Payne, W.Stewart, W.H.Loh, Optical fiber with dual cores suspended in air, European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) Geneva, Switzerland 18-22 Sept 2011;

• F.Poletti, X.Feng, G.M.Ponzo, M.N.Petrovich, W.H.Loh, D.J.Richardson, All-solid highly nonlinear singlemode fibers with a tailored dispersion profile, Optics Express 2011 Vol.19(1) pp.66-80;

• Camerlingo, X.Feng, F.Poletti, G.M.Ponzo, F.Parmigiani, P.Horak, M.N.Petrovich, P.Petropoulos, W.H.Loh, D.J.Richardson, Near-zero dispersion, highly nonlinear lead silicate W-type fiber for applications at 1.55΅m, Optics Express 2010 Vol.18(15) pp.15747-15756;

• X.Feng, G.M.Ponzo, F.Poletti, A.Camerlingo, F.Parmigiani, M.N.Petrovich, P.Petropoulos, N.M.White, W.H.Loh, D.J.Richardson, A single-mode, high index-contrast, lead silicate glass fibre with high nonlinearity, broadband near-zero dispersion at telecommunication wavelengths, European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) Turin 19-23 Sep 2010;

• X.Feng, F.Poletti, A.Camerlingo, F.Parmigiani, P.Petropoulos, P.Horak, G.M.Ponzo, M.Petrovich, J.D.Shi, W.H.Loh, D.J.Richardson, Dispersion controlled highly nonlinear fibers for all optical processing at telecoms wavelengths, Optical Fiber Technology 2010 Vol.16(6) pp.378-391 Special Fibre Structures and their Applications (Invited)

• X.Feng, W.H.Loh, J.C.Flanagan, A.Camerlingo, S.Dasgupta, P.Petropoulos, P.Horak, K.E.Frampton, N.M.White, J.H.V.Price, H.N.Rutt, D.J.Richardson, Single-mode tellurite glass holey fibre with extremely large mode area for infrared nonlinear applications, Optics Express 2008 Vol.16(18) pp.13651-13655;

• J.H.V.Price, T.M.Monro, H.Ebendorff-Heidepriem, F.Poletti, P.Horak, V.Finazzi, J.Y.Y.Leong, P.Petropoulos, J.C.Flanagan, G.Brambilla, X.Feng, D.J.Richardson, Mid-IR supercontinuum generation from non-silica microstructured optical fibers, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics 2007 Vol.13(3) pp.738-749;

• T.Delmonte, M.A.Watson, E.J.O'Driscoll, X.Feng, T.M.Monro, V.Finazzi, P.Petropoulos, J.H.V.Price, J.C.Baggett, W.H.Loh, D.J.Richardson, D.P.Hand, Generation of mid-IR continuum using tellurite microstructured fiber, CLEO/QELS Long Beach 21-25 May 2006 CTuA4

• J.Y.Y.Leong, P.Petropoulos, J.H.V.Price, H.Ebendorff-Heidepriem, S.Asimakis, R.Moore, K.Frampton, V.Finazzi, X.Feng, T.M.Monro, D.J.Richardson, High-nonlinearity dispersion-shifted lead-silicate holey fibres for efficient 1micron pumped supercontinuum generation, IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technology 2006 Vol.24(1) pp.183-190;

• X.Feng, T.M.Monro, V.Finazzi, R.C.Moore, K.Frampton, P.Petropoulos, D.J.Richardson, Extruded single-mode high-nonlinearity tellurite glass holey fibre, Electronics Letters 2005 Vol.41(15) pp.835-837;

• J.Y.Y.Leong, P.Petropoulos, S.Asimakis, H.Ebendorff-Heidepriem, R.C.Moore, K.Frampton, V.Finazzi, X.Feng, J.H.V.Price, T.M.Monro, D.J.Richardson, A lead silicate holey fiber with γ=1860 W-1km-1 at 1550 nm, OFC 2005 Anaheim 6-11 Mar 2005 PDP22 (Postdeadline); • X.Feng, A.K.Mairaj, D.W.Hewak, T.M.Monro, Non-silica glasses for holey fibers, IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technology 2005 Vol.23(6) pp.2046-2054;

• X.Feng, A.K.Mairaj, D.W.Hewak, T.M.Monro, Towards high-index-glass based monomode holey fibre with large-mode-area, Electronics Letters 2004 Vol.40(3) pp.167-169;

• P.Petropoulos, H.Ebendorff-Heidepriem, V.Finazzi, R.C.Moore, K.Frampton, D.J.Richardson, T.M.Monro, Highly nonlinear and anomalously dispersive lead silicate glass holey fibers, Optics Express 2003 Vol.11(26) pp.3569-3573;

• K.M.Kiang, K.Frampton, T.M.Monro, R.Moore, J.Tucknott, D.W.Hewak, D.J.Richardson, H.N.Rutt, Extruded single-mode non-silica glass holey optical fibres, Electronics Letters 2002 Vol.38(12) pp.546-547;

• T.M.Monro, Y.D.West, D.W.Hewak, N.G.R.Broderick, D.J.Richardson, Chalcogenide holey fibres, Electronics Letters 2000 Vol.36(24) pp.1998-2000

Copyright University of Southampton 2006