Microstructured ytterbium-doped multicomponent optical fibers as wavelength converters for photovoltaics
The most widespread knowledge about optical fibers is that they can transport a humongous amount of information over thousands of kilometers coded into a stream of very short light pulses.
However, a vast variety of applications has been emerging after the late eighties of the last century, when scientists started to experiment with tiny structures and with different dopant materials inside the fibers to control their light guiding as well as their light generation and conversion properties.
In the presentation it will be shown, how the intelligent use of the interplay between the rare earth ion Ytterbium as a dopant and a simple fiber microstructure can lead to the generation of light whose distribution weight is slightly shifted to shorter wavelengths.
This then allows to use cheap silicon-based photodiodes for the photovoltaic conversion of near infrared radiation to electricity.
Valerio Romano was born in Sicily and is Swiss citizen. He received the physics M.Sc. degree in 1989 and the Ph.D. degree in 1991 from the University of Bern.
As a post-doc he was engaged in surgical laser applications and in the basic research in the field of general laser matter interaction.
In 1994 he joined the Laser-Materials processing group at the IAP of the University of Bern where he worked on the applications of ultrashort laser pulses for the processing of ceramics and metals, which included also the interaction of laser radiation with metallic powders for 3D printing applications. In 1998 he became head of the laser materials processing group. From 2000 to 2004 he was involved in the NCCR "Quantum Photonics" subproject "High power fiber lasers". He joined BFH in 2008, where he heads the Applied Fiber Technology research group.
His current main research topics are i) microstructured optical fibers for laser applications, ii) the optical properties of luminescent materials as well as iii) fundamental pulsed laser-materials interaction processes including ablative and generative modifications. He also heads the operation of a fiber drawing tower, that is jointly run by BFH, the University of Bern and the SIPBB.
Valerio Romano is also coordinator of the "Swissphotonics National Fiber laboratory", a Swiss joint laboratory in the field of optical fibers. He is vice president of the Network SWISSPHOTONICS, and member of Innovation Board of the NTN IB Photonics, the official photonics platform of Switzerland supported by Innosuisse.