All about active optical fibers

Jan. 1, 1998
Optical Fiber Amplifiers--Materials, Devices, and Applications (Artech House Optoelectronics Library)

All about active optical fibers

Optical Fiber Amplifiers--Materials, Devices, and Applications (Artech House Optoelectronics Library)

Shoichi Sudo, ed., Artech House Inc., Boston, MA, 1997,

627 pages, $98

Optical Fiber Amplifiers provides a good overview of the field of active optical fibers. Edited by Dr. Shoichi Sudo of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) Optoelectronics Laboratories, the book does a fine job of balancing detail and breadth and provides sufficient detail in most areas without becoming tedious. Fiberoptic-device engineers, as well as material scientists, should find this text useful.

The book gives a brief historical and editorial review of optical-fiber development before presenting an overview of the entire field. Subsequent sections delve into specific areas of rare-earth dopants, fiber materials and fabrication, and devices. This structure assists the uninitiated reader in quickly getting u¥to speed, while enabling the advanced user to move to the more comprehensive sections. The book concentrates its effort on conventional communications fiber amplifiers (erbium-doped silica fibers and praseodymium-doped fluoride fibers), but also covers the more esoteric fields of chalcogenide and crystal fibers doped with the gamut of rare-earth elements.

There is good use of figures and charts, which are relatively free of error. And each chapter has references pointing to relevant source material.

Although a fine work overall, there are two minor shortcomings. First, despite the fact that the title promises that applications will be reviewed, they are given short shrift in the text, in favor of, for example, presenting the rather excessive quantum mechanics of rare-earth materials. Second, the book exhibits a mild bias toward the vapor-phase axial-deposition method of fiber fabrication, the process personally developed by the editor, and toward NTT products in general. However, neither of these faults seriously impacts the content or readability of the work.

All in all, the book would make a good primary reference in the library of scientists or device engineers who work with fiber amplifiers or lasers. It contains a collection of experimental results and theoretical development, including reproductions of figures and charts that greatly reduce the reader`s literary search time. However, its main emphasis is on materials and fabrication and not on applications; therefore, it is not oriented toward system-level designers.

Frank J. Effenberger

FRANK J. EFFENBERGER is a research scientist at Bellcore, 445 South St., Morristown, NJ 07960.

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