The exponential demand on the internet is producing a capacity crunch in legacy short haul communication networks based on multimode fibre, and is foreshadowed to do the same for long haul single mode fibre networks. Femtosecond lasers have been used to produce a range of compact lightwave circuits that are compatible with optical fibres. These include 3D lightwave chips that offer mode selectivity. Recent developments in plug-and-play devices produced by the fs laser direct-write technique have enabled the modes of few mode fibre (FMF) to be individually addressed with high fidelity (20dB mode extinction). 10G has also been demonstrated over 2 kms of conventional multimode fibre (OM1 and OM2) with fs laser written photonics. As a result, this platform can extend the service life of existing multimode fibre networks and enable next generation networks exploiting mode division multiplexing.
Michael J. Withford, Simon Gross, and Nicolas Riesen, "Laser written mode selective photonics: Future proofing multimode optical fibre communications (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10544, Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics XI, 1054409 (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 28, 2018; Published: 14 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2284981.5751529824001.
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