G&H wins IOP Innovation Award with Fiber Coupled Acousto-Optic Modulator
Andrew Robertson, Senior Vice President – Systems Technology Group (STG)
G&H are proud to announce that the Fiber-Q was given the prestigious Institute of Physics (IOP) Award for Innovation at a ceremony at the London based Institute in October. The award winning fiber coupled acousto-optic modulator was then presented to members of both Houses of the British Parliament at an event on November 27 hosted by Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills; Lady Audrey Wood, Co-founder and former Director of Oxford Instruments and Dr Frances Saunders, IOP President.
Fiber laser systems offer a low cost and maintenance free option for a broad spectrum of applications including LIDAR, materials processing, medical laser systems, microscopy and security sensing. G&H’s groundbreaking Fiber-Q for the first time has brought the flexibility of acousto-optics to the fiber optic community in the form of a small, robust, low loss package that can easily be incorporated into an all-Fiber architecture without compromising the key benefits offered by fiber based systems. The company manufactures fiber coupled acousto-optic modulator devices for lasers with wavelengths from 400nm – 2000nm.
The innovative approach of using an acousto-optical solution surpasses more conventional approaches in a number of different ways. In fiber laser systems, amplitude modulation has conventionally been realized by utilizing a master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) requiring a separate semiconductor laser amplifier seed. The limitations of this approach are a sophisticated seed laser system and narrow choice of available pulse forms. Incorporating an acousto-optic modulator is far simpler, with the modulator able to directly control the temporal characteristics of the active output from the fiber laser with more flexible choice of pulse form. Acousto-optic modulation is therefore less complex, more robust, less costly and more flexible than conventional approaches. G&H has achieved excellent optical performance with devices having high Polarization Extinction Ratio (PER) and low insertion loss using qualified processes and TeO2 acousto-optic cells grown from raw materials by G&H.
Adrian Norman, Engineering Director at G&H Torquay commented, “The Fiber-Q project has been both a commercial and technological success for G&H. New manufacturing techniques have been developed to meet the challenges presented by the Fiber-Q. Processes and designs to tolerate high optical powers and precision fiber alignment techniques have been developed. G&H is continuing to progress this technology and is broadening the Fiber-Q product portfolio”.