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FIBER SENSORS

Optical fibers provide an ideal base for novel nanophotonic devices due to their unique optical properties, outperforming the properties of planar waveguides in many cases. The Fiber Sensor Group (FSG) at the Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT), a team of highly motivated specialists concentrates on implementing novel optical concepts and placing nanostructured elements into fibers and using these devices in various areas of optics, mainly in biophotonics. Currently we are focusing on plasmonic and metamaterials in fibers - realized by placing nanoscale metallic wires and elements into fibers - in order to observe exciting effects such as Fano resonances or slow light. Furthermore we are targeting electrically active fibers for electro-static particle traps, and we are keen on placing unusual materials into the fibers such as chalcogenide, liquids or semiconductors to implement all kinds of in-fiber devices in areas such as nonlinear optics, modulators or integrated detectors. The group is located at the IPHT in Jena and has a Europe-wide outstanding infrastructure to facilitate nano- and microstructured optical fibers. We work very close together with the photonics people from the local university and from industry.

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Coupled plasmonic supermode consisting of many quadrupole spiralling plasmons (left: simulations, right: experiments).

Research areas

Prof. Schmidt currently focusses his research on nano-photonic optical fibers by placing nano- and microstructured elements into and onto fibers and using these hybrid multimaterial devices in various areas of optics, mainly in biophotonics. Current research interests include:

  • propagation of light in novel fiber structures (e.g. hollow core and metamaterial fibers)
  • optical metamaterials and metasurfaces
  • plasmonics and near field optics
  • nonlinear light generation
  • special materials in fibers (e.g. metals, chalcogenide or liquids)
  • biosensing (e.g. in-fiber confocal nanoobject detection or fiber-based Paul traps)

Teaching fields

Prof. Schmidt's teaching is devoted to the early involvement of young developing scientists in state-of-the-art research. Currently, he holds two courses in:

  • photonic materials - basics and applications
  • active photonic devices

Research methods

The infrastructure at the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology and the laboratories led by Prof. Schmidt offer a wide range of methods for the fabrication and characterization of all kinds of optical fibers, including:

  • broadband mid-IR ultrashort pulse lasers
  • fiber-drawing tower and lithography technology
  • pressure-assisted melt infiltration
  • scanning optical near-field microscopy
  • various spectrometers, transmission setup, lasers and other light sources

 >> link to the Fiber Optics Group of the IPHT Jena

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