Silica Fibre


  • Preform fabrication

    We have 2 modified chemical vapour deposition (MCVD) lathes, a glassworking lathe, and dedicated chemical preparation areas for glass doping, etching and machining. We have developed many techniques for doping and fabricating speciality preforms and have developed bespoke equipment such as gas phase deposition for making active doped fibres and in-situ doping. We also have an outside vapour deposition (OVD) system capable of fabricating the next generation of silica based fibres.

  • Fibre fabrication

    We have a 6 metre high dual-sided fibre drawing tower which is suitable for a range of fibres. Preforms up to 60 mm in diameter can be drawn into fibre using a unique furnace design. The drawing tower is designed for the fabrication and coating of large diameter fibre, up to 1 mm as well as ribbon geometries, and forms part of our research into high power fibre lasers.

  • Ultrasonic mill and drill

    Used for high-precision drilling of silica to fabricate preforms for polarisation maintaining (PM) and microstructured fibres. Also used for machining silica preforms for fabrication of custom geometry fibre. Capable of drilling a range of hole diameters up to 20mm, to depths of up to 200mm.

  • Hydrofluoric acid etching station

    Custom built unit for acid etching of silica performs. Capable of precision etching multiple preforms up to 750mm in length.

  • Fibre rewind and proof testing

    Capable of rewinding fibre up to 500 um diameter and speeds up to 500m/min, with tension control of payoff and take up. The machine also has proof test capability of up to 8kg.

  • Photon Kinetics PK2600-HP preform profiler

    Provides automated high-resolution refractive index profiling of up to 1m long. We have an additional special feature that enables a 3D "helix" measurements to evaluate refractive index uniformity along the preform length.

  • Photon Kinetics S14 fibre profiler

    Provides high-resolution refractive index profiling and geometry measurements of a wide range of fibre types up to 500μm in diameter, including D-shaped, microstructured and polarisation maintaining fibres.

  • Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR)

    High resolution: less than 10 cm, Sensitivity: -110 dBm

  • Monochrometer

    UV-VIS-IR (250 - 5500 nm) fitted with Lock-in amplifier and computer-assisted control

  • Capability for basic laser characterisation and spectroscopic studies in both fibre and preform.