Light is able to travel through wood fiber

A research team at Finland’s VTT Technical Research Center has demonstrated optical fibers made of cellulose—in essence, waveguides from wood.While the resulting, rather lossy fibers are unlikely to find a home in mainstream fiber domains like telecom, the researchers believe that they could ultimately prove useful in moisture detection and other niche sensing applications.

The core of the new optical fibre is made of cellulose, modified for the purpose using ionic solvents developed by VTT.Cellulose has properties making it suited for use in optical fibre sensors. The material used in cellulose fibers can in itself react with the substances being measured and absorb them, which is difficult for glass or plastic fibers. Cellulose is also easy to modify as regards, for instance, the index of refraction. Cellulose effectively absorbs and releases water, which can be measured by the change in the attenuation of light transmitted in the fibre. In addition, cellulose is biodegradable, and the fibre used for the sensor can be disposed of with bio waste.

Wood-based fibre opens up new chance for sensor applications, but it will not compete with glass-based optical fibers in telecommunication applications.


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Post time: Dec-12-2019
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