The University of Southampton

Airguide Photonics, hosted at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), is a £6m EPSRC-funded research programme aiming to revolutionise fibre optics.

COVID-19 Statement

We are delighted that in accordance with Government guidance encouraging laboratory-based research to be resumed in a safe manner, the Zepler Institute cleanrooms and laser laboratories have now been re-opened for priority research and development work.

This has been carried out following risk assessments and significant changes to operating procedures to ensure safety is maintained on site at all times.

We are operating with reduced occupancy and added hygiene so that the rules on social distancing and good practice are met. The safety and wellbeing of our staff and students is our utmost priority, and Government advice continues to be that those who can work from home should continue to do so.

This is good news for the Airguide Photonics project which has been impacted by the campus shutdown and means that our staff and PhD students can continue their research and studies.

We are enormously grateful to our sponsors and staff for bearing with us in these difficult times. Your generous support ensures our community continues to thrive.

Thank you.

Professor David Richardson.

Optical fibres lie at the heart of our increasingly technological society. For example, they support the internet and mobile communications that we all now take for granted, they save lives through medical diagnosis and interventions using fibre-optic endoscopes, and they enable the mass production of a huge array of commercial products through fibre laser based materials processing.

Within our Airguide Photonics research programme we aim to translate Hollow Core Fibre (HCF) technology from the research lab to a deployable fibre technology, unleashing innovative applications across a broad range of science and engineering fields.

The ORC has been pioneering the development of fibre optics and advancing communications technology for many years and has an impressive record of using research funding to collaborate with academic and industry partners. The AirGuide Photonics programme promises to push at the boundaries once more. We are confident that the research will uncover more discoveries and lead to world-leading innovations.

Professor Tom Rodden - Deputy Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • 11 February 2021

    International study reveals exceptional...

    Researchers from the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) and Université Laval, Canada, have successfully measured for the first time back-reflection in cutting-edge hollow-core fibres that is around 10,000 times lower than conventional optical fibres.

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  • 1 December 2020

    Air-guided fibre optic overcomes attenuation...

    Hollow-core optical fibres invented and fabricated at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have demonstrated their potential to outperform and ultimately replace silica fibres in key application areas. The new fibres can surpass current attenuation limits caused by the scattering of light in glass and trigger dramatic advances in quantum communications, data transmission, and laser power delivery.

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  • 3 November 2020

    Hollow-core fibre discovery wins Best Student...

    Postgraduate research student Shuichiro Rikimi from the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) has drawn praise at The Optical Society's Advanced Photonics Congress for identifying how post-fabrication treatment could extend the lifespan of hollow-core optical fibres. The novel research in Southampton's Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics discovered that the internal pressure of a hollow-core post-fabrication is significantly below atmospheric pressure, causing air to rush into the freshly drawn fibre.

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