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The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at Advanced Engineering

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The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at Advanced Engineering
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The University of Southampton’s ORC is showcasing internationally-leading research in advanced optical fibres, high power lasers, novel glasses and silicon photonics, and the capabilities available from its £120M cleanroom complex – one of the world's best facilities for optical and high-spec nanofabrication.

Our demonstrations include a new Distributed Optical Fibre Vibration Sensor (DVS). This innovative sensing technology is capable of fully quantifying the location, frequency, amplitude, and phase of any dynamic event, at one metre intervals over tens of kilometres of sensing fibre. This is the equivalent of monitoring tens of thousands of very sensitive strain gauges with high accuracy.

We are also demonstrating our GLS (Gallium Lanthanum Sulphide) Infrared Transmitting Glass, a radically-new, high-durability, non-toxic chalcogenide glass with optical, thermal and mechanical properties. GLS boasts optical transparency from the visible to the thermal long-wave infrared wavelengths, offering 200 times greater performance and overall transmission in the 3-5 micron band as compared to other glasses of the same family. It has thermal stability up to 550 °C and can be produced using safer and more economical manufacturing methods.

Examples of our latest hollow core optical fibres, which replace the glass core of standard optical fibres with air or a vacuum to create hollow 'light pipes', will also be on show. Hollow core fibres offer vastly superior but largely unexplored potential for a huge range of vital applications, including enabling faster, cheaper and more secure communications, channelling of more intense laser light to manufacture goods and efficiently run combustion engines and real time imaging of cancer tissues inside the human body.

Optical components on display will include our SDM fibres (few-mode or multicore), incorporated in a collimator assembly. These fibres provide highly integrated solutions for high-capacity transmission at relatively low material costs and with the benefit of simple fabrication procedures.

We will also be providing information about our Silicon Photonics Fabrication capability which is free to access for UK academia until September 2019.



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