–The following story was written by Taia Goguen-Garner.

Optical fiber components made by laser irradiation, called “fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs)”, have been developed and applied in multiple areas such as the monitoring of civil engineering structures, high capacity telecommunication systems and medical diagnostics.

Fu Liu, a PhD alumnus in Electrical and Computer Engineering is researching ultrafast switching of light by special “tilted” FBGs for novel communications and sensing applications.

Fu LiuOptical switches are used to control the transmission of light among possible states, and doing so at speeds of the order of one millionth of a second are key elements in modern fiber-optic communication systems for high performance data transmission across the Internet and inside data centers.

Designing and fabricating new high-speed switching components opens up further opportunities for network architectures and processes, as well as to potentially lower the costs of such systems.

“The long-term goal for researchers like me is to meet the needs for increasing data transfer capacity in our daily life,” said Liu. “Making ultrafast switches inside low cost and commonly used commercial fibers directly not only reduces the cost but also make it easy to integrate them within existing and future systems.”

This research is being conducted out of the Advanced Photonic Components Laboratory (APClab). For his research, Liu has collaborated with many different researchers in engineering, chemistry and physics across the Carleton campus.

Prof. Jacques Albert, Canada Research Chair in Advanced Optical Components and Fellow of the Optical Society of America, has been supervising Liu throughout his research.

“He is super kind, patient and also distinguished, as well as strict on science research,” expressed Liu. “He always helps me out and gives me very useful advice when I face problems with the switching system.”

Fu LiuGoing forward, Liu would like to continue this research and improve switching systems by fabricating higher quality optical fiber components.

“I am still working on improving the components with faster switching speeds and higher modulation efficiency,” said Liu. “Hopefully, they can be fabricated as a product used in our daily life in the future”.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 in ,
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