New Singlemode mid-IR Fibers Have Been Added to Existing IRF-S Series Chalcogenide Fibers

May 16, 2014  The mid-IR laser market is relatively small when compared to the total laser market, but it is growing almost four times faster than the laser market as a whole, according to the recent market analysis.

In an effort to follow this dynamic and exciting market, IRflex Corporation has recently added 3 more singlemode mid-IR fibers to its existing IRF-S series chalcogenide nonlinear mid-infrared fiber, making it the widest range to choose from for the singemode chalcogenide glass based mid-IR fibers in the market.

Chalcogenide glass fibers have a broader mid-infrared (mid-IR) wavelength transmission window (1.5–11 μm) and higher nonlinearities (approximately 1000 times that of silica) than any other infrared (IR) optical fibers, making them ideal for the development of mid-IR supercontinuum sources used in spectroscopy, R&D, and life-science applications.

Several new chalcogenide-based, nonlinear singlemode optical fibers: the IRF-S-5, IRF-7 and IRF-S-10 from IRflex Corporation (Danville, VA), is fabricated from arsenic sulfide (As2S3) glass with a broad transmission range from 1.5 to 6 μm and a minimum transmission loss of approximately 0.1 dB/m at 4.8 μm.  Special purification techniques were used to reduce the hydrogen impurities, resulting in a narrow absorption peak at 4.1 μm.  Given its approximate 5, 7 and 10 μm core diameters and 0.3 to 0.32 numerical aperture, the step-index fibers are truly singlemode for wavelengths larger than its 1.988, 2.930 and 4.380 μm relative cutoffs. For wavelengths shorter than the cutoffs and with proper coupling, the transmitted beam could remain singlemode (or slightly multimode) over short lengths of fiber (less than 2 m) for the entire fiber transmission range. This nonlinear singlemode IR fiber is well suited for direct transmission or mid-IR supercontinuum generation.