Plastic optical fiber

Plastic optical fiber

Plastic optical fiber (POF) (or fibre) is an optical fiber which is made out of plastic. Traditionally PMMA (acrylic) is the core material, and fluorinated polymers are the cladding material. Since the late 1990s however, much higher-performance POF based on perfluorinated polymers (mainly polyperfluorobutenylvinylether) has begun to appear in the marketplace.

In large-diameter fibers, 96% of the cross section is the core that allows the transmission of light. Similar to traditional glass fiber, POF transmits light (or data) through the core of the fiber. The core size of POF is in some cases 100 times larger than glass fiber.

POF has been called the "consumer" optical fiber because the fiber and associated optical links, connectors, and installation are all inexpensive. The traditional PMMA fibers are commonly used for low-speed, short-distance (up to 100 meters) applications in digital home appliances, home networks, industrial networks (PROFIBUS, PROFINET), and car networks (MOST). The perfluorinated polymer fibers are commonly used for much higher-speed applications such as data center wiring and building LAN wiring.

In relation to the future request of high-speed home networking, there has been an increasing interest in POF as a possible option for next-generation Gigabit/s links inside the house. To this end, several European Research projects are active, such as POF-ALL [] and POF-PLUS.

For telecommunications, the more difficult-to-use glass optical fiber is more common. This fiber has a core made of germania-doped silica. Although the actual cost of glass fibers are lower than plastic fiber, their installed cost is much higher due to the special handling and installation techniques required.

One of the most exciting developments in polymer fibers has been the development of microstructured polymer optical fibers (mPOF), a type of photonic crystal fiber.

ee also

*All-silica fiber
*Plastic-clad silica fiber

External links

* [ Basics of Plastic Optical Fiber]
* [ Ethernet over Plastic Optical Fiber technology]
* [ Plastic Optical Fiber white papers]
* [ POFTO: Plastic Optical Fiber Trade Organization]
* [ Gigabit Transmission over Plastic Optical Fiber]

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