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University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

Advanced Optical Fibre Fabrication and Applications

Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology

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Prof J Canning Applications accepted all year round Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Advanced Optical Fibre Fabrication.

Areas can include new Bi fibres (led by Prof. Peng at UNSW; Prof Canning is a Conjoint Professor) for amplifiers, lasers and sensors and novel structured fibres including photonic crystal fibres, Fresnel fibres, spun structured optical fibres and so on. Most recently, a new initiative at looking at special fibre design for high power fibre lasers has been funded by AORD - facilitated grants resulting in the first active spun structured fibres to be produced.

3D Printing of Optical Fibres

3D printing has become ubiquitous and yet its full impact reminds decidedly at the prototype side of industry. However, we have identified one area of immense potential disruption: 3D printing of optical preforms and optical fibres. Optical fibres for the communication backbone of the internet and therefore the IoT. Plastic fibres transmit data between servers in data centres and in local area networks. Glass fibres, aided and abetted by glass fibre amplifiers, transmit data across the planet in bandwidth capacities that are unmatched. And yet limitations remain: growing specialty fibres going beyond transmission reaching into sensors and diagnostics demand new designs that better optimise the 3D topology of fibres. Unfortunately, current fabrication methods restrict such evolution. Limited to simple designs around a centralised core or requiring prohibitive labour-intensive practices to introduce off-centre cores, the fabrication of next generation optical fibres demands the flexibility 3D printing can deliver. So far we have produced plastic fibre preforms and plastic fibre on low cost 3D printers demonstrating not only the technical potential but also the potential cost reductions of future fabrication. This project will look at taking this capability further

3D Printing Photonics

Scope exist to explore a number of areas where Photonics can be advantaged by 3D printing.

Further Reading:

J. Canning, “Top up and top down: self-assembling and 3D printing custom photonic waveguides and components”, (KEYNOTE), International Conference on Emerging Advanced Nanomaterials, Newcastle Australia, (2018) and refs therein.

K. Cook, G. Balle, J. Canning, L. Chartier, T. Athanze, M.A. Hossain, C. Han, J-E. Comatti, Y. Luo, G-D. Peng, “Step-index optical fibre drawn from 3D printed preforms”, Opt. Lett., 41 (19), 4554-4557, (2016).

C. Han, J. Canning, K. Cook, M.A. Hossain, H. Ding, “Exciting Surface Waves on Metal-Coated Multimode Optical Waveguides using Skew Rays”, Opt. Lett., 41 (22), 5353-5356, (2016).

Funding Notes

UTS Competitive Scholarships - to apply

Application Deadlines

Domestic Students
Spring 2019 - 30 April 2019 - For commencement July 2019
Autumn 2020 - 30 September 2019 - For commencement January 2020

International Students
Autumn 2020 - 30 June 2019 - For commencement January 2020


Apply here -

Professor John Canning -
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