Optics & Infrared Sensing
Chalcogenide Waveguides and Fiber Optics
PNNL is researching the fundamental properties of chalcogenide glasses for the fabrication of photonic devices. Amorphous chalcogenide glasses, such as As2S3, exhibit numerous photoinduced changes when exposed to near-bandgap light. Exposure to laser illumination with photon energy either in the band-gap or near the band-edge results in an increased refractive index. This phenomenon has been exploited to fabricate mid- and long-wave infrared waveguides using the direct-write method. PNNL has developed all the capabilities for the fabricating such waveguides, from thermal deposition of core and cladding glass layers, to direct laser writing of complex structures and their characterization. PNNL has recently demonstrated single mode transmission and coupling of QC Laser emission in chalcogenide waveguides.
In parallel with the waveguide effort, PNNL is also developing long wave infrared fiber optic applications, both singlemode and multimode, using commercially available fibers. Efforts are ongoing in the areas of fabrication and testing of mid- and long-wave infrared fiber optic components.