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Optical fiber made from ice

Scitech Report

12 July, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Optical fiber made from ice

Scientists from China and the United States have created "bendy" and "super clear" ice fibers, offering an optional material for making optical fibers.

Defying the common knowledge of ice being a rigid and brittle crystal, the researchers developed ‘very thin’ ice microfibers that can bend up to about 11 percent and remain elastic, according to an article published in the Science journal.

The single-crystal ice microfibers were grown at the temperature of minus 50 degrees Celsius, with diameters ranging from 10 micrometers to less than 800 nanometers, said Tong Limin with the Zhejiang University team who cooperated with researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

Moreover, their high optical quality allows for efficient light transmission, making them an alternative material for optical fiber that is usually made of glass, researchers said.