Glass: The carrier of light—Part II—A brief look into the future of optical fiber

John Ballato, Peter D. Dragic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glass optical fibers have reached a scale and commercial maturity that few, if any, other material and form can claim. Furthermore, optical fibers not only enable a remarkably broad range of applications but are, themselves, unique tools for fundamental studies into light-matter interactions. That said, despite such ubiquity and global impact, increasing demands from existing systems, coupled with new expectations from novel emerging technologies, are necessitating a remarkably creative renaissance in optical fiber materials, structures, and processing methodologies. This paper, a follow-on to a previous historical retrospective [Ballato and Dragic, Int. J. Appl. Glass Sci. 7, 413 (2016)], discusses current and future trends, recent advances in optical fiber materials, processing and properties, and muses about their forthcoming prospects and areas for further study and development. Specifically, optical fibers employed in present and future communications, sensors, and laser systems are discussed along with material innovations that could yield revolutionary advances in performance or manufacturability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-24
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Glass Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Optical fiber
  • glass
  • lasers
  • optical properties
  • silica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Glass: The carrier of light—Part II—A brief look into the future of optical fiber'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this