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Photonic Crystal Fibers

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Photonic crystal fibers (PCFs – sometimes also known as “holey” or “microstructured” fibers) have been the focus of increasing scientific and technological interest since the first working example was reported in 1996 [1,2]). Although superficially similar to a conventional optical fiber, PCF has a unique microstructure, consisting of an array of microscopic holes (or channels) that runs along the entire length of the fiber. These holes act as optical barriers or scatterers, which suitably arranged can “corral” light within a central core (either hollow or made of solid glass). The holes can range in diameter from ~25 nm to ~50 µm. Although most PCF is formed in pure silica glass, it has also recently been made using polymers [3] and non-silica glasses [4] (see Figure 1), where it is difficult to find compatible core and cladding materials suitable for conventional total internal reflection guidance.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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