Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

NIF & Photon Science physicists are exploring the fundamental limits of traditional round fiber structure and developing alternate solutions to allow scaling to higher powers and pulse energies. Comprehensive models of ribbon fiber structures, or waveguides, are also being developed. The goal is to develop ribbon fiber lasers that can amplify light beams to powers well beyond fundamental limits.

Joint research efforts with the Lasers and Optics Research Center at the U.S. Air Force Academy resulted in tailored simulation codes that can model photonic crystal fiber structure performance using LLNL high-performance computing capabilities.

Ribbon-shaped optical fiber diagram The ribbon-shaped optical fiber being developed at Livermore has a wider cross section than the traditional round fibers used by the telecommunications industry.

Scientists couple laser light to a rectangular core optical fiber Livermore scientists couple laser light into a higher order mode of a rectangular core optical fiber.

The team has also installed and commissioned an 8-meter-tall state of the art draw tower to fabricate a variety of optical fiber structures to support this research.

Fiber Draw Tower at LLNL LLNL’s fiber draw tower can draw optical glass fibers ranging from 80 to 500 microns in diameter.

More Information

“A New Shape for Optical Fiber Lasers,” Science & Technology Review, June 2011