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Guided Wave Optical Design & Engineering
In guided wave optics, optical waveguides guide the optical beams. This is contrary to free space optics where beams travel in free space. In guided wave optic, beams are mostly confined within waveguides. Waveguides are used to transfer either power or communication signals. Different waveguides are needed to guide different frequencies: As an example, an optical fiber guiding light (high frequency) will not guide microwaves (which have a much lower frequency). As a rule of thumb, the width of a waveguide needs to be of the same order of magnitude as the wavelength of the wave it guides. Guided waves are confined inside the waveguide due to total reflection from the waveguide walls, so that the propagation inside the waveguide can be described as resembling a "zigzag" pattern between the walls.
Waveguides used at optical frequencies are typically dielectric waveguide structures in which a dielectric material with high permittivity, and thus high index of refraction, is surrounded by a material with lower permittivity. The structure guides optical waves by total internal reflection. The most common optical waveguide is optical fiber.
Other types of optical waveguide are also used, including photonic-crystal fiber, which guides waves by any of several distinct mechanisms. On the other hand, guides in the form of a hollow tube with a highly reflective inner surface have also been used as light pipes for illumination applications. The inner surfaces may be polished metal, or may be covered with a multilayer film that guides light by Bragg reflection (this is a special case of a photonic-crystal fiber). One can also use small prisms around the pipe which reflect light via total internal reflection—such confinement is necessarily imperfect, however, since total internal reflection can never truly guide light within a lower-index core (in the prism case, some light leaks out at the prism corners). We can design many other types of guided wave optic devices, such as planar waveguides which make optoelectronic integrated circuits possible. Such planar optical waveguides can be integrated on existing electronic substrates. Planar dielectric waveguides can be designed & fabricated from polymer materials, sol-gels, lithium niobate, and many other materials.
For any projects involving design, testing, troubleshooting or research & development of waveguide devices, contact us and our World class optics designers will help you. In guided wave optic design and development, we do use software tools such as OpticStudio (Zemax) and Code V to design and simulate the optical components and assembly. In addition to using optical software we do build laboratory set-ups and prototypes and frequently use optical fiber splicers, variable attenuators, fiber couplers, optical power meters, spectrum analyzers, OTDR and other instruments to run tests on our customers guided wave optic samples and prototypes. Our experience covers a variety of wavelength regions, including IR, far-IR, visible, UV and more. Our expertise in guided wave optic devices and systems covers also a variety of areas including optical communication, illumination, UV curing, disinfection, treatment systems and more.