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Keywords:

  • Fibre optics;
  • semiconductor photonics;
  • nonlinear fibre optics;
  • fibre characterization

Abstract

This paper reviews recent progress in the nascent field of semiconductor optical fibres, from the fundamentals through to device demonstration. The incorporation of semiconductor materials into both the step-index and microstructured fibre geometries provides a route to introducing new optoelectronic functionality into existing glass fibre technologies. Herein, the various fabrication methods that have been developed as of to date are described, and their compatibility with the different semiconductor materials and fibre designs discussed. Results will be presented on the optical transmission properties of several fibre types, with particular attention being paid to the observation of nonlinear propagation in silicon core fibres. Finally, some speculation regarding the future prospects and applications of this new class of fibre will be provided.