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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Previous projects > New Products and Materials > New technique for advanced optical fibre production
Graphic element New technique for advanced optical fibre production
The gas-film levitation (GFL) technique was used to produce a high-quality halide glass for ultra-low-loss optical fibres called ZBLAN. Europe is now a world leader in optical glass.

Optical fibres are now important components in many telecommunications systems. This project involved the development of the gas-film levitation (GFL) process for the production of high-quality glass. The use of this new technique resulted in the development of ZBLAN, a halide glass with improved surface properties and a considerable potential for the preparation of ultra-low-loss optical fibres. These fibres can be used to make optical amplifiers for telecommunications applications.

The innovative results of this project go well beyond the state of the art, changing the fundamental principles of technology in this area. The main competitors at present include Japanese researchers and two US companies, AT&T and Galileo, working with non-silica glass and infrared transmission.

The application of the technique on project partner Alcatel's production line has made the company the world leader in optical glass. It is already experiencing large economic gains as a result of the project and is expected to continue to do so. While the technology is currently being applied only in the telecommunications sector, partners say further development could lead to its use in other applications.

amplifiers, electronics, components, telecommunications, transmission
Project title:
Development of the gas-film levitation (GFL) technique to produce high quality structural and optical glasses
Contract: BRE20357
The project fits in FP5
GR1, New Materials and Production
GROWTH, Competitive & Sustainable Growth
The project belongs to
FP4, Fourth Framework Programme
FP3, Third Framework Programme
Main theme:
 New Products and Materials

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Cordis RCN: 6617
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