The Fiber-Optics Laboratory (FOL) was founded in 1990, at the Department of Physics of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). The FOL group is led by Professor Byoung Yoon Kim and currently composed of 8 graduate students.
The research topics of interest include fiber lasers, nonlinear phenomena in optical fiber, acousto-optic coupling, optical phenomena in micro-structured fibers and chaotic phenomena in fiber laser and fiber component, as well as conventional fiber components.
The fiber lasers cover narrow-linewidth laser (~kHz), tunable laser, multi-wavelength laser and mode-locked laser, which aim for sensor and tele-communication applications.
The nonlinear phenomena deals with supercontinuum-related application and optical similariton propagation in conventional fiber, micro-structured fibers and laser cavity.
The research about acousto-optic coupling is carried out through flexural, longitudinal and torsional acoustic waves. The periodic perturbation by the acoustic waves can induce the transverse mode conversion or polarization mode conversion. Various types of multi-functional optical filter and tele-communication components are already developed, which include notch filter, band-pass filter, add-drop filter, gain-flattening filter and so on.
And optical phenomena in tapered fiber and photonic band-gap fiber is also under investigation. From basic optical mode to light-matter and acousto-optic interactions is treated.
Furthermore sub-harmonic bifurcation and chaotic phenomena in fiber component and fiber laser and coupled cavity is also under active investigations.
As a former topics, new sensors based on fiber lasers as well as traditional sensors such as fiber optics gyroscopes, acoustic sensor arrays and low coherence interferometry were intensively studied. The fiber laser sensors in particular have been introduced by the FOL and attracted a lot of attentions with significant advantages over the conventional counterparts, i.e. improved signal intensity, resolution and novel polarimetric sensing mechanism. Those include fiber laser gyroscopes and polarimetric sensors for temperature, strain and magnetic field measurements.
Some of the researches were commercialized and became the world's first products by the spin-off company, FiberPro.
The FOL group is seeking for both the academic superiority and practical applications of the technology.