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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 15, Iss. 22 — Oct. 29, 2007
  • pp: 14382–14388
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Preform fabrication and fiber drawing of 300 nm broadband Cr-doped fibers

Yi-Chung Huang, Jau-Sheng Wang, Yu-Kuan Lu, Wen-Kuei Liu, Kuang-Yao Huang, Sheng-Lung Huang, and Wood-Hi Cheng  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 15, Issue 22, pp. 14382-14388 (2007)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.15.014382


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Abstract

The fabrication of a Cr-doped fiber using a drawing-tower method with Cr:YAG as the core of the preform is presented. The Cr-doped YAG preform was fabricated by a rod-in-tube method. By employing a negative pressure control in drawing-tower technique on the YAG preform, the Cr-doped fibers with a better core circularity and uniformity, and good interface between core and cladding were fabricated. The amplified spontaneous emission spectrum showed a broadband emission of 1.2 to 1.6 μm with the output power density about a few nW/nm. The results indicate that this new Cr-doped fiber may be used as a broadband fiber amplifier to cover the bandwidths in the whole 1.3-1.6 μm range of low-loss and low-dispersion windows of silica fibers.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

1. Introduction

The breakthrough technology in dry fiber fabrication has opened the possibility for utilizing transmission bandwidths all the way from 1.3 to 1.6 μm in the low-loss region of silica based fibers. The usable spectral band for the number of channels in a wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) system depends on the gain bandwidth of the fiber amplifiers. The well-known erbium (Er)-doped fiber amplifier provides gain in the C band, the L band, and the S band which totaled 140 nm usable spectral bands. The other types of fiber amplifiers, such as thulium (Tm)-doped [1

1. T. Kasamatsy, Y. Yano, and H. Seller, “1.50-μm-band gain-shifted thulium-doped fiber amplifier with 1.05- and 1.56-μm dual-wavelength pumping,” Opt. Lett. 24, 1684–1686 (1999). [CrossRef]

] and praseodymium (Pr)-doped [2

2. Y. Ohishi, T. Kanamori, T. Kitagawa, S. Takahashi, E. Snitzer, and G.H. Sige Jr., “Pr3+-doped fluoride fiber amplifier operating at 1.31 μm,” Opt. Lett. 16, 1747–1749 (1991). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], operate gain in the S band and in the O band, respectively. However, the gain bandwidths of the Er-doped, Tm-doped, and Prdoped fiber amplifiers cannot fully cover the whole 1.3-1.6 μm range with a single fiber amplifier. It is important to develop a single fiber amplifier which can operate in ultra-broad bandwidth, because such an amplifier can greatly simplify system architecture of optical fiber telecommunications and potentially reduce installation and maintain cost.

Recently, transition-metal-doped materials, such as Cr4+ ions [3

3. S. Tanabe and X. Feng, “Temperature variation of near-infrared emission from Cr4+ in aluminate glass for broadband telecommunication,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 77, 818–820 (2000). [CrossRef]

, 4

4. C. Batchelor, W. J. Chung, S. Shen, and A. Jha, “Enhanced room-temperature emission in Cr4+ ions containing alumino-silicate glasses,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 4035–4037 (2003). [CrossRef]

] and Ni2+ ions [5

5. M. V. Iverson, J. C. Windscheif, and W. A. Sibley, “Optical parameters for the MgO:Ni2+ laser system,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 36, 183–184 (1980). [CrossRef]

, 6

6. T. Suzuki and Y. Ohishi, “Broadband 1400 nm emission from Ni2+ in zinc—alumino—silicate glass,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 3804–3806 (2004). [CrossRef]

], have shown 300-nm broadband emissions. Furthermore, a Cr4+:YAG crystal fiber has been fabricated by the use of a codrawing laser-heated pedestal growth (LHPG)method [7–9

7. C. Y. Lo, K. Y. Huang, J. C. Chen, C. Y. Chuang, C. C. Lai, S. L. Huang, Y. S. Lin, and P. S. Yeh, “Double-clad Cr4+:YAG crystal fiber amplifier,” Opt. Lett. 30, 129–131 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] or a drawing-tower technique [10

10. Y.C. Huang, Y.K. Lu, J.C. Chen, Y.C. Hsu, Y.M. Huang, H.M. Yang, M.T. Sheen, S.L. Huang, T.Y. Chang, and W.H. Cheng, “Fabrication of Cr-doped Fibers by Drawing Tower,” OFC, Anaheim, CA (2006), paper OWI21.

, 11

11. Y.C. Huang, Y.K. Lu, J.C. Chen, Y.C. Hsu, Y.M. Huang, S.L. Huang, and W.H. Cheng, Broadband emission from Cr-doped fibers fabricated by drawing tower,” Opt. Exp. 14, 8492–8497 (2006). [CrossRef]

]. The Cr4+-doped fiber amplifier may be employed in the whole 1.3-1.6 μm range. It was achieved up to 10 dB of gross gain at a wavelength of 1.52 μm at a pump power of 0.83 W [7

7. C. Y. Lo, K. Y. Huang, J. C. Chen, C. Y. Chuang, C. C. Lai, S. L. Huang, Y. S. Lin, and P. S. Yeh, “Double-clad Cr4+:YAG crystal fiber amplifier,” Opt. Lett. 30, 129–131 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. The smaller core diameter growth was difficult and the uniformity of the core diameter varied in lengths by the LHPG method. In the drawing-tower technique [10

10. Y.C. Huang, Y.K. Lu, J.C. Chen, Y.C. Hsu, Y.M. Huang, H.M. Yang, M.T. Sheen, S.L. Huang, T.Y. Chang, and W.H. Cheng, “Fabrication of Cr-doped Fibers by Drawing Tower,” OFC, Anaheim, CA (2006), paper OWI21.

, 11

11. Y.C. Huang, Y.K. Lu, J.C. Chen, Y.C. Hsu, Y.M. Huang, S.L. Huang, and W.H. Cheng, Broadband emission from Cr-doped fibers fabricated by drawing tower,” Opt. Exp. 14, 8492–8497 (2006). [CrossRef]

], a better control of the core diameter and the fiber uniformity was fabricated. The Cr-doped fibers had a 9-μm core diameter and a 125-μm cladding diameter. However, the fabricated fiber core was still non-circular and the drawing process was not continuous. The output power density was about a few pW/nm [11

11. Y.C. Huang, Y.K. Lu, J.C. Chen, Y.C. Hsu, Y.M. Huang, S.L. Huang, and W.H. Cheng, Broadband emission from Cr-doped fibers fabricated by drawing tower,” Opt. Exp. 14, 8492–8497 (2006). [CrossRef]

]. Due to the fiber uniformity and core circularity issues, the Cr4+-doped fibers fabricated by LHPG or drawing-tower technique are hard to integrate with the standard single-mode fibers (SMFs) for lightwave transmission system applications.

In this paper, we propose to improve the fabrication process of Cr-doped fibers by employing a drawing-tower technique with negative pressure control on the Cr:YAG preform. The negative pressure is varied during the drawing process. This negative pressure control benefits a better core concentricity and uniformity, and good interface between core and clad. In addition, the negative pressure helps collapsing the tube during fabrication and results in continuity of drawing process. The amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) spectrum of Crdoped fibers shows a broadband emission of 1.2 to 1.6 μm with the output power density about a few nW/nm levels. The Cr-doped fibers may have potential for being used as a broadband fiber amplifier to cover the bandwidths in the whole 1.3-1.6 μm range to further increase the transmission capacity of the WDM system for optical communication applications.

2. Fabrication

2.1 Preform fabrication

The Cr4+-doped YAG/silica preform was fabricated using a rod-in-tube (RIT) method [12

12. E. Snitzer and R. Tummineli, “SiO2-clad fibers with selectively volatilized soft-glass cores,” Opt. Lett. 14, 757–759 (1989). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. The inner and outside diameters of silica tube were 12 mm and 32 mm, respectively. The silica tube first tapered in one end to form a cone shape. Then the tube was inserted with a Cr4+-doped YAG crystal rod [13

13. Cr:YAG crystal rod, Fujian JDSU CASIX Inc., Fujian, China (2005).

] to constitute the preform. The silica tube became the cladding when the assembled preform was drawn into fiber by using the drawing-tower method. Figure 1 shows a schematic diagram of a Cr4+-doped YAG preform. The diameter and length of the Cr4+-doped YAG crystal were 3 mm and 5 cm, respectively.

Fig. 1. Cr4+-doped YAG preform.

2.2 Fiber drawing

A commercial drawing tower equipped with a graphite-resistant furnace was used to fabricate the Cr-doped fibers, as shown in Fig. 2. The material properties of Cr4+:YAG and SiO2 used in this study were listed in Table I. Due to the different thermal expansion coefficients between the Cr4+-doped YAG crystal and silica, the raise of heating temperature was kept slow and gradation. The preform first was loaded into the center of the furnace, and the temperature was raised from 1100 °C to 1600 °C with a ramp rate of 20 °C/min. Then the temperature was directly raised to 2150 °C from 1600 °C in order to avoid the initial drop of silica being over weight. This was due to the softening point of the silica is around 1667 °C. The initial lump drop of the fiber could be observed from the bottom of furnace. The drawing temperature was set at 2060 °C when the initial lump of preform was dropped. The drawing speed was from 150 to 200 m/min. It was lower than the setting of 1.5 km/min used in drawing of a conventional SMFs.

Fig. 2. Drawing tower set-up.
Fig. 3. Negative pressure control.

Table I. The material properties of Cr4+:YAG and SiO2.

table-icon
View This Table

The silica was softening when the temperature was raised higher than 1667°C. The Cr:YAG crystal, still in solid state, may be gravitated down and resulted in discontinuity of drawing process if the SiO2 tube was too soft and could not bear the weight of Cr:YAG crystal rod. Therefore, it is important to mitigate the detriment effect by Cr:YAG crystal gravity. In order to achieve better interface between core and cladding and keep the shape of the core a better circularity, a negative pressure control on the YAG perform in drawing-tower process [14

14. K. Lyytikainen, J. Canning, J. Digweed, and J. Zagari, “Geometry controlof air-silica structured optical fibres using pressurisation,” in Proceedings of SBO/IEEE MTT-S IMOC 2 (2003), pp. 1001–1005.

] was used, as shown in Fig. 3. The application of negative pressure helps collapsing the tube at proper temperature, carrying the weight of Cr:YAG, maintaining circuitry of core, and keeping continuity of drawing process. The pressure was altered from 100 to 1000 pa depending upon the drawing process and the required core diameter. The gravity of Cr:YAG crystal rod could be counter balanced 10% to 75% with the help of negative pressure control. When the outer diameter of fiber approached to about 180 μm during drawing process, the fiber would pass through a die for coating and curing, as shown in Fig. 2. The Cr-doped fibers final were coated with dual layers of UV curable acrylate in order to maintain pristine surface during take-up and storage.

3. Measurements and results

Fig. 4. Photographs of the polished end (a) with, and (b) without negative pressure control.
Fig. 5. The laser scanning confocal microscope for index and fluorescence mappings.
Fig. 6. The refractive index profiles of the Cr-doped fibers.

An X-ray diffraction pattern of a Cr-doped fiber is shown in Fig. 7(a). It shows a mixed crystal in the core compared with Cr:YAG crystal, as shown in Fig. 7(b). The core of the Crdoped fiber was not a single crystal and the sapphire was a nano crystals mixed in silica matrix [7

7. C. Y. Lo, K. Y. Huang, J. C. Chen, C. Y. Chuang, C. C. Lai, S. L. Huang, Y. S. Lin, and P. S. Yeh, “Double-clad Cr4+:YAG crystal fiber amplifier,” Opt. Lett. 30, 129–131 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. In this study, the Cr-doped fibers fabricated by the drawing-tower had good core uniformity and circularity which benefits for better splicing with the standards SMFs and broadband WDM couplers for lightwave communication applications.

Fig. 7. The X-ray diffraction pattern of (a) a Cr-doped fiber, and (b) Cr:YAG crystal.

Fig. 8. (a). The reflected fluorescence spectrum, and (b) the ASE spectrum of the Cr-doped fiber.

4. Conclusion

Acknowledgments

This work was partially supported by the Department of Industrial Technology of MOEA under the Contract 95-EC-17-A-07-S1-025, the National Science Council under the Contract NSC95-2221-E-110-004, and the MOE Program of the Aim for the Top University Plan.

References and links

1.

T. Kasamatsy, Y. Yano, and H. Seller, “1.50-μm-band gain-shifted thulium-doped fiber amplifier with 1.05- and 1.56-μm dual-wavelength pumping,” Opt. Lett. 24, 1684–1686 (1999). [CrossRef]

2.

Y. Ohishi, T. Kanamori, T. Kitagawa, S. Takahashi, E. Snitzer, and G.H. Sige Jr., “Pr3+-doped fluoride fiber amplifier operating at 1.31 μm,” Opt. Lett. 16, 1747–1749 (1991). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

3.

S. Tanabe and X. Feng, “Temperature variation of near-infrared emission from Cr4+ in aluminate glass for broadband telecommunication,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 77, 818–820 (2000). [CrossRef]

4.

C. Batchelor, W. J. Chung, S. Shen, and A. Jha, “Enhanced room-temperature emission in Cr4+ ions containing alumino-silicate glasses,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 4035–4037 (2003). [CrossRef]

5.

M. V. Iverson, J. C. Windscheif, and W. A. Sibley, “Optical parameters for the MgO:Ni2+ laser system,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 36, 183–184 (1980). [CrossRef]

6.

T. Suzuki and Y. Ohishi, “Broadband 1400 nm emission from Ni2+ in zinc—alumino—silicate glass,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 3804–3806 (2004). [CrossRef]

7.

C. Y. Lo, K. Y. Huang, J. C. Chen, C. Y. Chuang, C. C. Lai, S. L. Huang, Y. S. Lin, and P. S. Yeh, “Double-clad Cr4+:YAG crystal fiber amplifier,” Opt. Lett. 30, 129–131 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

8.

C. Y. Lo, K. Y. Huang, J. C. Chen, S. Y. Tu, and S. L. Huang, “Glass-clad Cr4+ YAG crystal fiber for the generation of superwideband amplified spontaneous emission,” Opt. Lett. 29, 439–441 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

9.

J. C. Chen, C. Y. Lo, K. Y. Huang, F. J. Kao, S. Y. Tu, and S. L. Huang, “Fluorescence mapping of oxidation state of Cr ions in YAG crystal fibers,” J. Cryst. Growth 274, 522–529 (2005). [CrossRef]

10.

Y.C. Huang, Y.K. Lu, J.C. Chen, Y.C. Hsu, Y.M. Huang, H.M. Yang, M.T. Sheen, S.L. Huang, T.Y. Chang, and W.H. Cheng, “Fabrication of Cr-doped Fibers by Drawing Tower,” OFC, Anaheim, CA (2006), paper OWI21.

11.

Y.C. Huang, Y.K. Lu, J.C. Chen, Y.C. Hsu, Y.M. Huang, S.L. Huang, and W.H. Cheng, Broadband emission from Cr-doped fibers fabricated by drawing tower,” Opt. Exp. 14, 8492–8497 (2006). [CrossRef]

12.

E. Snitzer and R. Tummineli, “SiO2-clad fibers with selectively volatilized soft-glass cores,” Opt. Lett. 14, 757–759 (1989). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

13.

Cr:YAG crystal rod, Fujian JDSU CASIX Inc., Fujian, China (2005).

14.

K. Lyytikainen, J. Canning, J. Digweed, and J. Zagari, “Geometry controlof air-silica structured optical fibres using pressurisation,” in Proceedings of SBO/IEEE MTT-S IMOC 2 (2003), pp. 1001–1005.

15.

Cz. Koepke, K. Wisniewski, and M. Crinberg, “Excited state spectroscopy of chromium ions in various valence states in glasses,” J. Alloy Compounds 341, 19–27 (2002). [CrossRef]

16.

J.P. Hehir, M.O. Henry, J.P. Larkin, and G.F. Imbusch, “Nature of the luminescence from YAG:Cr3+, ” J. Phys. C: Solid State Phys. 7, 2241–2248 (1974). [CrossRef]

OCIS Codes
(060.2280) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber design and fabrication
(060.2320) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics amplifiers and oscillators

ToC Category:
Fiber Optics and Optical Communications

History
Original Manuscript: August 30, 2007
Revised Manuscript: October 11, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: October 12, 2007
Published: October 16, 2007

Citation
Yi-Chung Huang, Jau-Sheng Wang, Yu-Kuan Lu, Wen-Kuei Liu, Kuang-Yao Huang, Sheng-Lung Huang, and Wood-Hi Cheng, "Preform fabrication and fiber drawing of 300 nm broadband Cr-doped fibers," Opt. Express 15, 14382-14388 (2007)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-15-22-14382


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References

  1. T. Kasamatsy, Y. Yano, and H. Seller, "1.50-μm-band gain-shifted thulium-doped fiber amplifier with 1.05- and 1.56-μm dual-wavelength pumping," Opt. Lett. 24, 1684-1686 (1999). [CrossRef]
  2. Y. Ohishi, T. Kanamori, T. Kitagawa, S. Takahashi, E. Snitzer, and G.H. Sige, Jr., "Pr3+-doped fluoride fiber amplifier operating at 1.31 μm," Opt. Lett. 16, 1747-1749 (1991). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. S. Tanabe and X. Feng, "Temperature variation of near-infrared emission from Cr4+ in aluminate glass for broadband telecommunication," Appl. Phys. Lett. 77, 818-820 (2000). [CrossRef]
  4. C. Batchelor, W. J. Chung, S. Shen, and A. Jha, "Enhanced room-temperature emission in Cr4+ ions containing alumino-silicate glasses," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 4035-4037 (2003). [CrossRef]
  5. M. V. Iverson, J. C. Windscheif, and W. A. Sibley, "Optical parameters for the MgO:Ni2 + laser system," Appl. Phys. Lett. 36, 183-184 (1980). [CrossRef]
  6. T. Suzuki and Y. Ohishi, "Broadband 1400 nm emission from Ni2+ in zinc—alumino—silicate glass," Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 3804-3806 (2004). [CrossRef]
  7. C. Y. Lo, K. Y. Huang, J. C. Chen, C. Y. Chuang, C. C. Lai, S. L. Huang, Y. S. Lin, and P. S. Yeh, "Double-clad Cr4+:YAG crystal fiber amplifier," Opt. Lett. 30, 129-131 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. C. Y. Lo, K. Y. Huang, J. C. Chen, S. Y. Tu, and S. L. Huang, "Glass-clad Cr4+ YAG crystal fiber for the generation of superwideband amplified spontaneous emission," Opt. Lett. 29, 439-441 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. J. C. Chen, C. Y. Lo, K. Y. Huang, F. J. Kao, S. Y. Tu, and S. L. Huang, "Fluorescence mapping of oxidation state of Cr ions in YAG crystal fibers," J. Cryst. Growth 274, 522-529 (2005). [CrossRef]
  10. Y.C. Huang, Y.K. Lu, J.C. Chen, Y.C. Hsu, Y.M. Huang, H.M. Yang, M.T. Sheen, S.L. Huang, T.Y. Chang, and W.H. Cheng, "Fabrication of Cr-doped Fibers by Drawing Tower," OFC, Anaheim, CA (2006), paper OWI21.
  11. Y.C. Huang, Y.K. Lu, J.C. Chen, Y.C. Hsu, Y.M. Huang, S.L. Huang, and W.H. Cheng, Broadband emission from Cr-doped fibers fabricated by drawing tower," Opt. Exp. 14,8492-8497 (2006). [CrossRef]
  12. E. Snitzer and R. Tummineli, "SiO2-clad fibers with selectively volatilized soft-glass cores," Opt. Lett. 14, 757-759 (1989). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. Cr:YAG crystal rod, Fujian JDSU CASIX Inc., Fujian, China (2005).
  14. K. Lyytikainen, J. Canning, J. Digweed and J. Zagari, "Geometry controlof air-silica structured optical fibres using pressurisation," in Proceedings of SBO/IEEE MTT-S IMOC 2 (2003), pp. 1001-1005.
  15. Cz. Koepke, K. Wisniewski, and M. Crinberg, "Excited state spectroscopy of chromium ions in various valence states in glasses," J. Alloy Compounds 341, 19-27 (2002). [CrossRef]
  16. J.P. Hehir, M.O. Henry, J.P. Larkin and G.F. Imbusch, "Nature of the luminescence from YAG:Cr3+, " J. Phys. C: Solid State Phys. 7, 2241-2248 (1974). [CrossRef]

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