Editor's Pick Outlines Way to Suppress SBS to Record Level

Journal Paper Selected as Editor's Pick

What makes a journal article or research paper worthy of being selected as an “Editor’s Pick”? You could say almost as many reasons as there are editors, but a few stand out. Always valuable is research that examines new ideas and effectively develops research themes in a rapidly advancing field. Papers should, of course, come across as cohesively written, with research method, results, and related conclusions that match up well. Research that describes a rare case, leading to an unexpected result may catch an editor’s eye.

MNTL has certainly had its share of faculty and student research papers recognized for their excellence and relevance, and in December 2017, MNTL faculty affiliate Dr. Peter Dragic and his research team were notified that they had a journal paper selected as an Editor’s Pick, based on “its excellent scientific quality”. Featured in Optics Letters, the paper is entitled “Highly nonlinear yttrium-aluminosilicate optical fiber with high intrinsic stimulated Brillouin scattering threshold”.

Vital to the Information Age and just a bit thicker than a human hair, optical fibers carry enormous amounts of information around the world, and are used in countless applications including the Internet, weapons systems, and medicine. Typically developed from silica, today’s optical fibers are reaching the limits of their information-and-power-carrying capacity, due to a phenomena known as nonlinear optical effects.

Dr. Peter Dragic
Dr. Peter Dragic
 Dragic and his colleagues are working on ways to reduce or eliminate such nonlinear effects, particularly by addressing stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS), an adverse interaction between optical and acoustic waves. Key to their research is further investigation and development of different materials that can be used to produce optical fibers, such as yttrium-aluminum-garnet.

As demonstrated in this paper, Dragic says that the team has “…figured out a way to significantly suppress SBS to record level in these fibers by their design, via materials and waveguide, thus without the need to stretch or heat the fiber.”

The team’s research funding comes from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office (N00014-17-1-2546).