Approaches to mitigate polymer-core loss in plastic optical fibers: a review

Ioannides, Nicholas, Chunga, E. B., Bachmatiuk, A., Gonzalez-Martinez, I. G., Trzebicka, B., Adebimpe, D. B., Kalymnios, Demetri and Rümmeli, Mark H. (2014) Approaches to mitigate polymer-core loss in plastic optical fibers: a review. Materials Research Express, 1 (3). ISSN 2053-1591


Within fiber optics, plastic optical fibers (POFs) have always had to take a back seat due to their relatively high loss. This kept them as a specialty fiber for illumination, sensing and low speed short data links. However, continued research and development on the core materials used in POFs are improving their performance significantly as we are now able to manufacture POFs with low transmission loss, high temperature resistance and stable bandwidth over distance. The improved performance, the ease of installation and the low cost of POFs has led to a renewed interest in these fibers. This review looks at the material developments that have and continue to improve the optical loss factors in POFs. Both intrinsic and extrinsic loss mechanisms are discussed. In particular the intrinsic loss mechanisms are reviewed in greater detail. Intrinsic losses are associated with the chemical and physical structure of the fiber materials, while extrinsic losses are related to losses due to contaminants and various production imperfections.

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