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Airguide Photonics Research Fellow wins innovation prize

Published: 9 June 2022
Dr Hesham Sakr has been awarded a prize for his work at the OFC conference

Airguide Photonics Research Fellow wins innovation prize

Lightpipe and Airguide Photonics Research Fellow Dr Hesham Sakr has been awarded a prize for his work at the OFC conference – the premier international conference for lasers and electro-optics.

Hesham’s paper Hollow Core NANFs with Five Nested Tubes and Record Low Loss at 850, 1060, 1300 and 1625nm won the Tingye Li Innovation Prize awarded by Optica. The prize honours the global impact Tingye Li made to laser science and optical fibre communications and is presented to an early career professional who has demonstrated innovative ideas in their accepted postdeadline paper at OFC.

Hesham said: “This award recognises the huge effort of a whole team including my co-first-authors on this report Dr Thomas Bradley, Dr Gregory Jasion, and Professor Francesco Poletti. Having already achieved things that I never imagined possible as a young North-African student and researcher, this award encourages me to keep pushing the boundaries and motivates me even further in my pursuit of better and faster optical fibres.

“My aim for our next OFC paper is to develop a fibre with even lower loss at the telecoms wavelength to transform the optical data transmission world, and I can think of nothing but this prize to be my biggest guide and motivation to achieve this goal.”

Hesham’s research has demonstrated an improved hollow-core nested antiresonant nodeless design (NANF) geometry with five nested tubes and the capacity of achieving losses approaching or even beating those of solid-core fibres. It achieved the lowest loss ever reported in a hollow core fibre at 1300 and 1625nm (0.22dB/km), and in any type of optical fibre at 850nm (0.6dB/km) and 1060nm (0.3dB/km).

He said: “For more than 50 years, pure or doped silica glass optical fibres have been an unrivalled platform for the transmission of laser light and optical data at wavelengths from the visible to the near infrared. Rayleigh scattering, arising from frozen-in density fluctuations in the glass, fundamentally limits the minimum attenuation of these fibres and hence restricts their application, especially at shorter wavelengths.

“Guiding light in hollow-core fibres offers a potential way to overcome this insurmountable attenuation limit and offers the potential for advances in quantum communications, data transmission and laser power delivery.”

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