January 23, 2022

New liquid core fiber resists bending and stretching

New liquid core fiber resists bending and stretching

Researchers have developed a liquid-core two-piece fiber that is highly durable and can stretch up to 10% without damage.

Currently, for data transmission to largedistances use very fragile and stretch sensitive fiberglass cables. An alternative is the clear plexiglass core plastic fiber, which is commonly used for short-range communication. Although polymers are slightly better to bend, they are almost the same as glass. susceptible to internal microcracks during stretching. Any damage to the core of the cable will degrade the signal and may lead to breakage.

Therefore, scientists from the Swiss Federallaboratories of materials science and technology decided to use liquid to transmit light. The team decided to make the cable from a flexible material filled with a liquid with a significant high refractive index so that the signal bounced off the walls and only moved along the core.

New liquid core fiber resists bending and stretching

To do this, they built a machine that can produce kilometers of two-component fiber with a fluoropolymer cladding and a continuous core of glycerin with a fluorescent dye.

Tests have shown that the new cable type is capable ofwithstand stretching up to 10%, and then returns to its original length. No other solid-core optical fiber in existence is capable of this.

Although the path of light increases with expansion, butthe number of dye molecules in the fiber remains constant, resulting in a slight change in signal color, which can be measured with suitable electronics. In this way, the change in length or the resulting tensile load can be recognized. This allows the cable to be used also as a micro-hydraulic component and a light sensor.

Recall that last year, a hollow fiber was developed, the signal in which is amplified with the help of air.

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