New Ways to Guide Light

Science  12 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5566, pp. 276-277
DOI: 10.1126/science.1070033

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Optical fibers have revolutionized telecommunications by massively increasing information-carrying capability of cables. Their current performance is limited by the properties of the silica of which they are made. In their Perspective, Knight and Russell review recent progress toward overcoming these limitations with microstructured or "photonic crystal" fibers. The regular microstructure of these fibers enables new ways of guiding light, with many possible applications.