Fiber optic technology is highly promising now, optical fibers make a great contribution to science and offer the best medical equipment, improved environmental monitoring, more media channels – and possibly better solar panels. The fact is fiber optics are considered to be the best at signal transmission without serious loss in the transfer.
Nevertheless, the glass in an optical fiber is good at a wavelength of more or less 3 microns and their efficiency reduces if the wavelength is longer. Thus, sometimes such fiber optic limit causes problems. For example, the near-infrared part of the wave spectrum of optical fibers is applied in the telecommunication area because of its low loss of energy during passing through the glass.
Herewith, if it was possible to use even longer wavelengths, the fiber optic technology would offer new advantages such as better medical diagnoses and more accurate environmental monitoring of airborne gas particles. Also, various media channels could have more space due to longer fiber optic wavelengths because nowadays there is an intense competition where free space transmission normally takes place now.
It should be noted that glass optical fibers are not made of pure glass material, however, a core with other material is required for the good signal transmission. This was quite difficult to achieve, and the fiber optic techniques have continued to develop over the last 50 years. All that time different research teams conducted experiments with optical fiber using a semiconductor core of silicon and gallium antimonide instead of germanium oxide, which is applied in silica fiber optics today.
The use of the gallium antimonide as the core of an optical fiber is highly promising due to its ability to emit the infrared light, but this fiber should be then treated by a laser system to concentrate the antimonide. Therefore, such laser system process can be realized at room temperature in spite of the fact that the laser processing influences the fiber optic core properties.
Silicon material, in its turn, is considered to be the most widely used matter in solar panels. The combination of silicon and oxygen allows using the material both in glass and glass optical fiber cables. Gallium antimonide is more specific material, although it is also used in fiber optic devices in the same composition but not in the same way.
Finally, the newly developed fiber optic technique is based on the distribution of the gallium antimonide throughout the silicon material. This technique of crystal growing is simpler and cheaper than others, herein, the fiber optic technology opens numerous possible applications as well as enables to provide more efficient use of rare resources like gallium.
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