J.C. Knight, T.A. Birks, R.F. Cregan, and P.St.J. Russell, Optoelectronics Group, Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Bath, Bath U.K.
Photonic crystal fiber (PCF) is a new type of optical fiber waveguide consisting of a pure silica fiber with a regular array of small holes running through its entire length. A single missing air hole defines a region that effectively has a higher refractive index than the surrounding "holey" material. This region can form the core of a low-loss optical waveguide. Such a structure is readily fabricated by stacking a few hundred silica capillary tubes (of around 40-cm-length and 1-mm-diameter) and then drawing the stack down to a long fine fiber (at an elevated temperature) on an optical fiber drawing tower. A single solid silica rod embedded within the stack forms the fiber core.
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