TP-2: Glass and Polymer Speciality Fibers & Fiber Devices


Francis Berghmans – VUB

Vice Coordinator, Member of the TCT, Leader of Technology Platform 2

Technology description

The “Glass and Polymer Specialty Fibres and Fibre Devices” technology platform supports researchers for the fabrication of specialty optical fibres and micro-structured optical fibres made from pure silica, doped silica, soft glasses, chalcogenide glass and polymers.

In addition, the technology platform delivers expertise in various fibre devices such as fibre tapers, end caps and fibre-tip lenses, as well as imaging fibres, optofluidic fibres and grating-based fibre devices. The platform encompasses the complete knowledge and support chain for the manufacturing of fibres, including glass and polymer synthesis, pre-form production and characterization, fibre draw towers and subsequent functional fibre modification.

The platform also provides access to wide-ranging fibre and fibre device characterization equipment as well as an extensive set of both in-house and commercially available software tools for fibre design and property simulations. Thermo-mechanical characterization and reliability assessments, as well as lifetime predictions of fibres and fibre-based devices, are available as well.

Application domains

The available know-how and technologies allows addressing a very broad range of application domains pertaining to today’s major societal challenges and R&I needs. Examples include:

  • optical data communication (components for Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH), dispersion compensating fibres, laser wavelength stabilizers, optical isolators, specialty splices and fibre-to-chip coupling),
  • material processing (fibres for lasers),
  • the biomedical field (fibres for lasers, imaging bundles, lensed fibres, ultrathin imaging waveguides, solid light guides, sensor catheters, refractive index sensing and optofluidics),
  • spectroscopy (nonlinear microstructured fibres for supercontinuum generation, large core fibres for VIS-NIR-MIR guidance),
  • smart structures and structural health monitoring (sensors in aeronautics, marine and wind turbine applications for temperature, strain, vibration and electromagnetic field measurements),
  • energy and oil & gas exploration (temperature independent high pressure fibre sensors, hydrogen-insensitive fibres) and
  • environmental sensing (humidity and gas sensing).

Partners involved in this Technology Platform