Fiber optics -- Specialty optical fiber
RISE offers development and production of specialty optical fibers. They are like telecom fiber, but better. They are adapted for use in a variety of industries, ranging from communications and oil/gas industry to laser surgery, high-power lasers, medical technology, sensors and aerospace.
An optical fiber that is adapted to meet non-standard requirements is often called 'specialty optical fiber'. At RISE, we have the expertise and resources to design and develop optical fibers, custom for your application.
Together with customers and partners, we produce short series of experimental fibers, first prototypes, or thousands of kilometers of customized fiber for commercial customers.
The list of possible specialty fibers is long, we're only giving a few examples here. Contact us to discuss your application!
Optical fiber for harsh environment
An optical fiber is typically made from glass, and the fiber must be coated with a protective layer to not be damaged by e.g. moisture and abrasion.
In many cases, a standard coating is not enough. A special acrylate coating is applied to extend the use to temperatures up to 150C. Polyimide coated fibers (golden color in the image) are used in application temperatures up to 350C.
Excessive moisture or gaseous environments can create other issues, sometimes mitigated by a thin layer of hermetic carbon (black fiber in the photo).
Other harsh environments may require radiation resistant glass. Medical applications might require biocompatibility of coatings and buffers. One example of a customized fiber for medical applications is the white fiber in the image, which is visible under X-ray, a feature typically not possible with optical fibers.
Ultra thin optical fiber
A typical optical fiber has a glass diameter of 125µm. That is already quite thin. But in some applications, 125um is too much. Such applications call for 'reduced clad fibers'.
RISE has developed ultra thin optical fibers, with glass diameters down to 25µm. These miniaturized fibers were originally developed for integration in fuel cells, but they are today also used in various sensing applications where size matters.
Read more in our recent publications
Fibers with hollow cores
We are used to think of fibers as solid, and the light being guided in a glass core at the center of the fiber.
In 'hollow core'-fiber, the wave guiding structure instead allows for light guidance in a void and this opens many exciting new opportunities.
The light can propagate inside a gas or a fluid, enabling analysis with long interaction lengths. In high power applications, the energies can be maximized when the material properties of glass no longer limits the use.
Capillaries and microstructured fibers
A capillary is not an optical fiber since it cannot guide light. But quartz capillaries are manufactured in similar drawing towers as optical fibers, and Fiberlab has manufactured many capillary designs over the years.
Microstructured fibers are the combination of holes and optical cores in the one fiber cross section. These fibers are used for e.g. optofluidics or electro optic fiber components.
Fiberlab, custom built for specialty fiber development
Fiberlab was inaugurated in the fall of 2001 (as Acreo Fiberlab), and we build new towers in new premises 2016. A third draw tower was built in 2022.
The lab hosts three custom built fiber draw towers where we develop optical fiber of various types and dimensions and with the possibility to coat fiber with active or passive coatings. Where relevant, we also provide extrusion of buffers on the fiber.
For more details on the instrumentation and offer, pls consult our offer page.
What types of optical specialty fibers are there?
There are hundreds of specialty optical fiber types on the market, and the number of possible variants is limitless. We've listed a few examples on this page, but we have many more fibers in our portfolio.
Do you want to discuss how specialty optical fiber can be used in your application, or perhaps you already have a specification on what fiber you need?