Learning outcomes of the course unit
The main objective of the course is to let the students understand the importance of conventional optical fibers as basic components for optic and photonic devices, such as sensors and lasers, with great impact on the market at present, and of photonic crystal fibers, which are still an exciting research subject all over the world, for next generation devices.
Moreover, the course has the aim to give the students a detailed knowledge of advanced numerical methods for the simulations of the properties of optical fibers and components, in order to make them develop the skill to analyze and design complex optic and photonic devices.
Course contents summary
During the first part of the course photonic crystal fibers will be illustrated, with a detailed description of their distinguishing characteristics with respect to conventional optical fibers, in particular of the different light guiding mechanisms, which make them particularly suitable for important applications.
Optical fiber lasers will be the subject of the lessons in the second part of the course. Most common configurations, main parameters to characterize the performances and most important present and future applications will be presented in detail.
The last part of the course will be devoted to a thorough study of point and distributed optical fiber sensors, with particular attention to working principles, practical applications, products already available on the market or still subject of intense research worldwide.
Some lessons of the course, mainly devoted to simulation activities, will take place in laboratory.
Seminars could integrate the course programme.
− Photonic technologies of 21st century
− Standard optical fibers: light guiding mechanism and guided modes
− Standard optical fibers: single-mode and multi-mode regime, applications
Photonic crystal fibers:
− Photonic crystals and their properties, photonic crystal fibers and their properties
− Light guiding mechanisms and main applications of photonic crystal fibers
Optical fiber lasers:
− Laser working principle, different laser types and their applications
− Configurations, pumping schemes and doping element for optical fiber lasers
− Performances and limits of high-power fiber lasers
− Active and passive fibers for high-power fiber lasers, main applications and role in the market
Point and distributed optical fiber sensors:
− Main characteristics and properties, working principle, classifications, advantages and disadvantages, significant applications of optical fibers sensors
− Intensity-based sensors
− Spectrum-based sensors
− Sensor multiplexing
− Distributed sensors
− Introduction to the Finite Element Method (FEM) and presentation of the main characteristics of the COMSOL Multiphysics software for the simulation of optical fibers and photonic devices
− Numerical simulation of step-index fibers
− Numerical simulations of fibers with low refractive index cladding: dispersion curve
− Numerical simulations of fibers with low refractive index cladding: chromatic dispersion
− Numerical simulations of optical fibers with special dispersion properties
− Numerical simulations of photonic crystal fibers
S. Selleri, L. Vincetti, A. Cucinotta, “Optical and Photonic Components”, Esculapio, 2015
R. Paschotta, “Encyclopedia of laser physics and technology”, Wiley, 2008
E. Udd, “Fiber optic sensors: an introduction for engineers and scientists”, Wiley, 1991
F. Poli, A. Cucinotta, S. Selleri, “Photonic crystal fibers: properties and applications”, Springer, 2007
Scientific papers suggested during the course
Frontal lessons carried out in a lecture room, using blackboard and/or pc/projector to show multimedia presentations, videos/images, web pages, software applications (~28 hours).
Experimental and simulation activity carried out in laboratory, using the commercial software COMSOL Multiphysics for the analysis of electromagnetic waves at optical frequency propagating in linear and nonlinear media (~14 hours).
Assessment methods and criteria
Individual report on an assigned project to be developed through numerical simulations made with COMSOL Multiphysics, evaluated according to accuracy, completeness and clarity.
Oral exam to verify the student learning, analytical capacity and speaking ability on the topics explained during the course.
Project report and oral exam have the same importance on the final mark.
Students can collect the text of the assigned project during the last lesson of the course, or later by appointment in the teacher’s office.
The .pdf file of the report must be sent by email to the teacher no later than three days before the date of the oral exam.