The core research of the group is oriented towards advanced applications of optical fibres that range from optical signal processing to sophisticated sensing techniques.
Optical fibres are currently the most efficient and effective transmission lines and the Group develops advanced techniques to encode and decode information carried by light in optical fibres.
In particular the Group could demonstrate for the first time the possibility to modify and to control the speed of a light signal in an optical fibre, offering an important timing tool that was missing to control the information carried by light. This will impact on applications such as telecommunication networks, optical computing and optical storage (all optical memories storing a light signal that can be recalled later).
A technique leading to a dramatic increase in the capacity of optical fibres has also been recently achieved, in osmotic collaboration with the EPFL-PHOSL team. This simple, innovative solution reduces the amount of space required between the pulses of light that transport data. The breakthrough could increase the throughput of data in telecommunications systems by a factor of ten.
The group is also a key player on the global research scene in distributed fibre sensing based on optical nonlinearities. This type of sensors is foreseen to be an essential tool to secure critical installations, such as dams, tunnels and pipelines.