OCT 22, 2020 9:12 AM PDT

Improving optical fiber data transmission with silica glass made under high pressures

Researchers collaborating from Hokkaido University and The Pennsylvania State University show that producing silica glass fibers under high pressure can greatly improve optical fiber data transmission, reducing signal loss by over 50%. The new research is published in the journal npj Computational Materials.

Reducing signal loss means that industries could extend the distance that data can be transmitted without requiring amplification. "Improvements in silica glass, the most important material for optical communication, have stalled in recent years due to lack of understanding of the material on the atomic level," says Associate Professor Madoka Ono of Hokkaido University's Research Institute of Electronic Science (RIES). "Our findings can now help guide future physical experiments and production processes, though it will be technically challenging."

Scientists around the globe have been looking for a way to reduce light scatter, known as Rayleigh scattering, that occurs as a result of data being transmitted over long distances. Rayleigh scattering reduces the signal of data before it reaches its destination, a problem for long-distance communication needs. While amplifiers can help reduce Rayleigh scattering, scientists and industrial interests alike would like to figure out a solution that does not require amplifiers.

To address this goal, Ono’s team used computer simulations to predict what happens to the atomic structure of silica glass under high temperature and high pressure. Their simulations showed that the silica glass experiences a physical transformation, during which smaller rings of atoms are eliminated which lets larger rings join together in a lattice structure. This in turn decreases the number of gaps and voids in the structure that are responsible for light scattering.

Photo: Pexels

"Now that we know the ideal pressure, we hope this research will help spur the development of high-pressure manufacturing devices that can produce this ultra-transparent silica glass," comments Ono.

The researchers plan to continue their investigations to explore the effects of using a slower cooling rate at higher pressure.

Sources: Computational Materials, Science Daily

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
MAY 21, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
New water filtration process mimics our bodies
MAY 21, 2021
New water filtration process mimics our bodies
An engineering team from The University of Austin has collaborated with international scientists to develop a process th ...
JUN 13, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
How to 3D print customizable artificial body parts and medical devices
JUN 13, 2021
How to 3D print customizable artificial body parts and medical devices
Researchers from the University of Nottingham have figured out a new 3D printing process technique that allows for the m ...
AUG 05, 2021
Microbiology
Cheers to Fermentation - Beer Day 2021
AUG 05, 2021
Cheers to Fermentation - Beer Day 2021
After coffee and tea, beer is the third most popular beverage in the world, and it's been a part of our societies an ...
AUG 24, 2021
Health & Medicine
Consciousness is so dop(amine)! Researchers show dopamine plays a key role in consciousness
AUG 24, 2021
Consciousness is so dop(amine)! Researchers show dopamine plays a key role in consciousness
Consciousness is complex, but researchers have found a key element: dopamine
AUG 30, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Is it Safe to Travel to Mars?
AUG 30, 2021
Is it Safe to Travel to Mars?
It should be safe for humans to travel to Mars, provided journeys don’t take more than four years. The correspondi ...
SEP 02, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
The Future of Room-Temperature Superconductors
SEP 02, 2021
The Future of Room-Temperature Superconductors
It begins with two diamonds, a pinch of carbon, sulfur, and a whiff of hydrogen gas. The result is the world’s fir ...
Loading Comments...