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  • Philippines Boosts Fiber Optic R&D
Aug 2005
MANILA, Philippines, Aug. 9 -- The National Institute of Physics (NIP) of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, has strengthened its fiber optic research and development efforts for innovations geared to the communications, information technology and semiconductor industries.

Photonic fiber refers to either optical or photonic crystal fibers; optical fiber technology involves using glass (or plastic) threads (fibers) in transmitting information, and photonic crystal fibers are characterized by a unique structure featuring a matrix of air holes, similar to a honeycomb surrounding a glass or hollow core.

Wilson O. Garcia, program coordinator of the NIP Photonics Research Group, said the institute is also exploring topics such as the use of photonic crystal fiber to generate supercontinuum (SC) light with a femtosecond laser. Compared to typical light sources, SC light is highly directional and has a high output power, ultrashort pulse duration and a relatively flat, broad spectrum. It can be used for holography, spectroscopy and microscopy, among other applications.

The NIP has established a laboratory to train students in the technology of optical fibers in order to provide manpower to the local telecommunications industry. The laboratory is also available to local businesses for training and consultation services.

The Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology provided funding support to enable NIP to acquire equipment such as fiber optic cleaver and optic mounts and positioners to be used in its research.

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optical fiber
A thin filament of drawn or extruded glass or plastic having a central core and a cladding of lower index material to promote total internal reflection (TIR). It may be used singly to transmit pulsed optical signals (communications fiber) or in bundles to transmit light or images.  
supercontinuum light
A broadband, white-light source produced by high-intensity light pulses propagating in various media. High-energy, ultrashort pulses experience strong nonlinear interactions, such as self-phase modulation, cross-phase modulation, harmonic generation, four-wave mixing, and Raman scattering when propagating through matter. These interactions can broaden the spectrum of the light by as much as two orders of magnitude in some cases. The resultant broadband light, referred to as a supercontinuum,...
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