A Look at the Future of Infrared Fibers
Since the development of the first polycrystalline infrared fibers more than seven years ago at Hughes Research Laboratories, there have been a wide variety of infrared transmissive waveguides fabricated for sensor, power delivery, and future long distance communication links. These fibers transmit wavelengths between 2 and 25μm, but their losses are well above those of conventional silica-based fibers; thus, the near-term applications involve fibers 1 to 10 m in length. In the future, these waveguides may be suitable for long-distance applications if their losses can be reduced to the theoretical minimum of 10^-3 dB/ km.
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