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<sup>–1</sup>). 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.