Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel optical fibers transmit high-quality images

Date:
February 25, 2014
Source:
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Summary:
Engineers have found that a new kind of optical fiber they designed can not only transmit more data than single core optical fibers but also transmit images with less pixelation and higher contrast than the current commercial endoscopy imaging fibers.

The images show the comparison between the simulated image transport through the researchers new optical fiber (top) with a commercially available endoscopy imaging fiber (bottom).
Credit: Salman Karbasi

After having recently discovered a new way to propagate multiple beams of light through a single strand of optical fiber, engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) now have found that their novel fiber architecture can transmit images with a quality that is comparable or better than the current commercial endoscopy imaging fibers.

Because of this, the work has potential not only in next-generation high-speed communication, but also biomedical imaging.

The work is published today in the journal Nature Communications.

In conventional optical fibers, which are the backbone of the Internet, only one spatial channel of light traverses the fiber. In order to transmit more data, Arash Mafi and Salman Karbasi last year created an optical fiber using a method that is unique among existing multicore optical fibers.

Mafi, an associate professor of electrical engineering, and graduate research associate Karbasi harnessed a phenomenon called "Anderson localization" to design an optical fiber with a strong scattering mechanism that traps a beam of light as it traverses the fiber. The work was done in collaboration with Karl Koch, a scientist with Corning Inc.

The fiber consists of two randomly distributed polymers, which scatter the light. The fiber's disordered interior causes a beam of light passing through it to freeze laterally, accommodating multiple beams.

"I knew it would transport images," says Mafi. "What I didn't expect was that the resolution and contrast would be so good."

The team loads an image 30 microns wide -- about one-third the width of a human hair -- into the fiber. At the other end, a lens projects an enlarged image onto a screen. The optical fiber provides a direct one-to-one image transfer, Mafi says, with less pixelation and higher contrast.

"The beauty and distinction of this is that our design guides the light everywhere, not through individual cores," he says. "What really surprised us is that the transported image's high quality is achieved because of -- not in spite of -- the high level of disorder in the fiber."

Additional co-authors on the paper are Ryan Frazier, a UWM undergraduate student, and Thomas Hawkins and John Ballato of Clemson University.

The next step is to improve the building process in order to lower the loss of information.

Mafi and Karbasi theorize that one way to improve the quality of transported images is to use glass with randomly distributed air holes in the fiber architecture, rather than using polymers. There has been some preliminary progress in constructing glass fibers by the team, and further improvements are expected from the collaboration with Ballato's team at Clemson, experts in glass fiber fabrication.

Their fiber design is the first practical application of "Anderson localization," which is named after physicist Philip W. Anderson, who first identified the curious containment of electrons in a highly disordered medium, an observation for which he shared the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Salman Karbasi, Ryan J. Frazier, Karl W. Koch, Thomas Hawkins, John Ballato, Arash Mafi. Image transport through a disordered optical fibre mediated by transverse Anderson localization. Nature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4362

Cite This Page:

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "Novel optical fibers transmit high-quality images." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140225122225.htm>.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. (2014, February 25). Novel optical fibers transmit high-quality images. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140225122225.htm
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "Novel optical fibers transmit high-quality images." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140225122225.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) Qantas and Virgin say passengers can use their smartphones and tablets throughout flights after a regulator relaxed a ban on electronic devices during take-off and landing. As Hayley Platt reports the move comes as the two domestic rivals are expected to post annual net losses later this week. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) Chinese researchers have expanded on Cold War-era tech and are closer to building a submarine that could reach the speed of sound. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) An acute coal shortage is likely to be aggravated as India's supreme court declared government coal allocations illegal, says Breakingviews' Peter Thal Larsen. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins