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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 14, Iss. 24 — Nov. 27, 2006
  • pp: 11773–11786

Microstructured fibers for broadband wavefront filtering in the mid-IR

Joanne C. Flanagan, D. J. Richardson, M. J. Foster, and I. Bakalski  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 14, Issue 24, pp. 11773-11786 (2006)

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The European Space Agency’s space-based DARWIN mission aims to directly detect extrasolar Earth-like planets using nulling interferometry. However, in order to accomplish this using current optical technology, the interferometer input beams must be filtered to remove local wavefront errors. Although short lengths of single-mode fiber are ideal wavefront filters, DARWIN’s operating wavelength range of 4–20 µm presents real challenges for optical fiber technology. In addition to the fact that step-index fibers only offer acceptable coupling efficiency over about one octave of optical bandwidth, very few suitable materials are transparent within this wavelength range. Microstructured optical fibers offer two unique properties that hold great promise for this application; they can be made from a single-material and offer endlessly single-mode guidance. Here we explore the advantages of using a microstructured fiber as a broadband wavefront filter for 4–20 µm.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(060.2390) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics, infrared
(060.2430) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fibers, single-mode
(220.4830) Optical design and fabrication : Systems design
(350.1260) Other areas of optics : Astronomical optics

ToC Category:
Optical Design and Fabrication

Original Manuscript: July 7, 2006
Revised Manuscript: October 16, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: October 17, 2006
Published: November 27, 2006

Joanne C. Flanagan, D. J. Richardson, M. J. Foster, and I. Bakalski, "Microstructured fibers for broadband wavefront filtering in the mid-IR," Opt. Express 14, 11773-11786 (2006)

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