Glass-based advanced mid-infrared photonic devices
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA
Advances in low-loss high purity glasses were initially driven by fiber-optic communications --and the related interest in developing low-loss optical fibers covering a variety of spectral regions -- which in turn led to development of new glasses and fibers as rare earth and transition metal ion host media for numerous unique fiber amplifier and attenuator applications. Much lower Rayleigh scattering losses are achievable at longer wavelengths, which spurred the development of low-loss mid-infrared (MIR) fibers. This activity resulted in the emergence of three dominant families of MIR glass fibers, namely fluorides, chalcogenides, and tellurites. Out of these three families of mid-IR fibers and glasses, the fluoride glass fiber technology has emerged as the most mature because of its unique combination of broad transparency, glass stability, robustness, and its easy “fiberizability” into low-loss single-mode fibers.
The “fiberizability” of glasses is not only significant for fiber lasers and amplifiers, but is also a good measure of the glass stability, which is quite critical for making high-Q microresonators with a low amount of light loss due to scattering from crystallites and surface roughness. More recent work has focused largely on the development of “high optical nonlinearity” MIR glasses for applications ranging from Raman amplifiers and comb generators to continuum generation.
I will review device optimization issues related to glass-based mid-infrared optoelectronic devices, notably mid-infrared fiber lasers and fiber amplifiers, nonlinear optic frequency convertors and comb generators, and microresonators for sensors and mid-IR microlasers.
Ravi Jain is a Professor of ECE and Physics at the University of New Mexico, and is currently visiting China on a one-month research and teaching (nonlinear optics in optical fibers) sabbatical in Shanghai, Harbin, Beijing, Qingdao, and Jinan.
Prof. Jain obtained his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. After spending a few years in industry, including Bell Labs, Hughes Research Labs, and Amoco Technology Company, he transitioned to academics and has been at the University of New Mexico for 25 years. He has an H-index of 36 with over 150 publications and over 20 patents. He is a recipient of SPIE’s Edgerton Award, and is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, IEEE, SPIE, and American Physical Society. He is currently serving as an Associate Editor for Optics Express.
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