The main objective of this project is to design, study, and develop silica optical fibers whose cores contain chemically-synthesized nanostructures in a polymeric host, for photonic applications. These nanostructures have been recently used to functionalize waveguides in order to facilitate the development of innovative photonic devices and/or to enhance the performance of those that are already available. However a vast range of nanophotonic properties is yet to be explored and a reliable host material (that is at the same time compatible with the nanostructures and provides low optical loss and scattering) remains to be found. This project, thus, aims at (i) studying and testing polymeric host materials that are suitable for the development of the proposed waveguides and (ii) controlling the guidance properties of fibers by the interaction of the nanomaterial with the optical field. Microstructured fibers (i.e., fibers containing an array of holes in their cross section) and capillary optical fibers (i.e., fibers containing a single central hole in its cross section) will be used for this propose. The fibers will be filled with a polymer doped with a range of nanomaterials, which will subsequently be optically tested. Different nanoparticles (metallic, magnetic, etc) will be tested for various purposes. Parameters such as the nanomaterial concentration and polymer curing conditions (temperature, quantity of curing agent, etc.) will be optimized. It should be mentioned that the applicant has experience in fiber optics and with their interaction with nanomaterials, as he implemented a mode-locked erbium fiber laser using, as saturable absorbers, polymeric films with nanostructures (Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes).
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: