New fiber optic with a liquid core is not afraid of bending and stretching


Researchers have developed a two-component fiber optic with a liquid core, which has high strength and can stretch to 10% without damage.

Currently, very fragile and sensitive cables made of fiberglass are used to transmit data over long distances. An alternative option is a plastic fiber with a core from a transparent plexiglass, which is usually used to exchange information on short distances. Although the polymers are a little better bent, but almost as well as glass are subject to internal microcriers when stretching. Any damage to the cable core worsen the signal and can lead to a rupture.

Therefore, scientists from Swiss federal laboratories of materials science and technologies decided to use liquid to transmit light. The team decided to make a cable from a flexible material filled with a liquid with a significantly large refractive index that the signal reflects from the walls and moved only on the core.

For this, they made a car that can produce kilometer two-component fiber optic with a fluoropolymer sheath and a continuous core of glycerol with a fluorescent dye.

Tests showed that a new cable type is able to withstand stretching to 10%, and then returns to its original length. No other existing optical fiber with a solid core is not capable of such.

Although during tension, the light path increases, but the amount of dye molecules in the fiber remains constant, which leads to a minor change in the color of the signal, which can be measured using suitable electronics. Thus, you can find out the change in the length or the resulting stretching load. This allows you to use the cable as a microhydraulic component and a photosensitive sensor.

Recall that last year hollow fiber was developed, a signal in which

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