SBIR Phase I: Next Generation Polymer Optical Fiber

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

PARADIGM OPTICS INCORPORATED
9600 NE 126th Ave, Suite 2540
Vancouver, WA 98682
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I research project will enable the fabrication of the next generation of polymer optical fibers. Currently micro-structured fibers made of silica are expensive. This high cost is limiting their use in many fields. Additionally, silica micro-structured fibers are fragile, difficult to finish, and not amenable to doping. Micro-structured fibers made of polymers on the other hand can be fabricated inexpensively and offer many other benefits when compared to silica such as flexibility, ruggedness, ease of finishing, ease of optical modification with dyes, chelates, nanoparticles, and quantum dots. This research will result in a flexible, economic process for fabricating various types of microstructured polymer optical fibers including large mode area, high numerical aperture, hollow core, dual clad, multi-core, as well as fibers with increased functionality such as fiber lasers, amplifiers, and sensing fibers. The realization of inexpensive fibers with such novel properties will lead to new product breakthroughs in telecommunications, defense, medicine, radiation detection, optical power delivery, etc. These new fibers will also give researchers new tools for developing the components to create a vast array of next generation optical components. The advent of inexpensive polymer micro-structured fibers will further accelerate this process and lead to new products that are not achievable with silica fibers.