Electrospun Amplified Fiber Optics

All-optical signal processing is the focus of much research aiming to obtain effective alternatives to existing data transmission platforms. Amplification of light in fiber optics, such as in Erbium-doped fiber amplifiers, is especially important for efficient signal transmission. However, the complex fabrication methods involving high-temperature processes performed in a highly pure environment slow the fabrication process and make amplified components expensive with respect to an ideal, high-throughput, room temperature production. Here, we report on near-infrared polymer fiber amplifiers working over a band of ∼20 nm. The fibers are cheap, spun with a process entirely carried out at room temperature, and shown to have amplified spontaneous emission with good gain coefficients and low levels of optical losses (a few cm–1). The amplification process is favored by high fiber quality and low self-absorption. The found performance metrics appear to be suitable for short-distance operations, and the large variety of commercially available doping dyes might allow for effective multiwavelength operations by electrospun amplified fiber optics.