Celebrating women in STEM: PhD student pursues advanced studies in Optical Science and Engineering
Posted: May 13, 2017
Hanieh Afkhamiardakani is a doctoral student in the Optical Science and Engineering program (OSE) at The University of New Mexico (UNM), working with the Diels Research Group. Her research specializes in Intracavity Phase Interferometry (IPI) with mode-locked fiber lasers, and she designs her own experiments and setups for her research.
Polarization maintaining, mode-locked fiber lasers are the most promising lasers for IPI because they offer the possibility to have two orthogonally polarized pulses circulating independently in a linear cavity.
Significantly, IPI is able to monitor very small changes in optical path length — as small as 10-15m (femtometer). Use of the polarization maintaining fiber to make a linear cavity enables two counterpropagating pulses with perpendicular polarizations in the linear fiber laser, with the two arms at one end. Each pulse goes to one arm and different lengths in the cavity may be observed. So, any small changes in one arm is shown in the beat note of the two pulses at the detector. Therefore, very small displacement in the optical path length can be measured using this very compact and stable mode-locked fiber laser. Nonlinear index, magnetic or electric field, rotation, acceleration and other parameters may be measured.