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Paper by graduate student Soroush Shabahang selected for Spotlight on Optics

A paper titled "Nonlinear characterization of robust multimaterial chalcogenide nanotapers for infrared supercontinuum generation" by  Soroush Shabahang, Guangming Tao, Michael P. Marquez, Honghua Hu, Trenton R. Ensley, Peter J. Delfyett, and Ayman F. Abouraddy was selected for Spotlight on Optics in OSA's Optics Infobase.

Spotlight summary: The demonstration of supercontinuum in all-silica photonic crystal fibers by Ranka et al. in 2000 was one of the most exciting breakthroughs in over a decade of photonics research and established a major new research direction in the field and partly lead to the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2005. The key to realizing supercontinuum generation was the strong mode confinement in the small core of the fiber and the massively engineered dispersion provided by the high index contrast. This demonstration stimulated research efforts around the world as research groups appreciated the potential for harnessing the properties of supercontinuum generation sources for wide ranging applications and also the more fundamental aspects of the supercontinuum generation dynamics. One of the key technical challenges that emerged was simply that the silica glass possessed only a modest optical nonlinearity so that very large peak intensities were required to initiate the supercontinuum generation process, and this in turn required large bulky lasers such as Ti-Sapphire lasers. It was clear that major breakthroughs were required to transform this breathtaking scientific advancement into a technological tool that could be used in everyday applications. At the same time, it was appreciated that the silica-fiber-based supercontinuum sources were limited in terms of the range of wavelengths that they could generate, primarily due to the absorptive properties of silica.

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Posted Thursday, March 6, 2014

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