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Chiral Gets $2M for Fiber Laser

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9/12/2003
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CLIFTON, N.J. -- Chiral Photonics, Inc. (CPI) in Clifton, NJ has been awarded a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Advanced Technology Program to develop and prototype a new type of low-cost laser. In this three-year project, CPI plans to develop fiber lasers that are three times more efficient than semiconductor lasers currently powering fiber-optic telecommunications networks, at about a fifth of the cost. Moreover, these high-power Chiral Fiber Lasers (CFLs) can be seamlessly integrated into optical fiber networks, eliminating coupling losses inherent in today’s semiconductor lasers. This project will spur the development of other products based on chiral structures that offer both performance and cost advantages in diverse fields such as aerospace, telecommunications and biological and chemical sensing and analysis.

“We are grateful and honored that NIST has recognized the potential of the chiral technology that Chiral Photonics has been pioneering over the last few years,” commented Dan Neugroschl, president of CPI. “The talented team that we were fortunate to assemble has recently released our first product based on chiral structures, an in-fiber polarizer. We thank the ATP for enabling us to pursue this work at an accelerated pace so that it can have broad impact.”

The novel laser design features a twisted glass fiber that selectively filters light on the basis of wavelength and polarization. This low-cost device creates a highly efficient feedback cavity for generating high-intensity laser beams. In the first phase of the ATP project, CPI will demonstrate methods for making a single-frequency, fixed-wavelength CFL. The company will also demonstrate a process for making lasers that can be tuned to produce light of different wavelengths. Such tunable lasers make it possible to send light signals of different wavelengths over the same strand of optical fiber. These lasers would give a major boost to so-called wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology, an approach now being implemented to increase the bandwidth of fiber-optic networks.

Chiral Photonics Inc. (CPI)

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