Feasibility study of small core diameter polymeric optical fibers (POF) from poly(methyl methacrylate)


  • Amirul Afiat Raffi Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Mukhlis A. Rahman Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Mohd Hafiz Dzarfan Othman Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Ahmad Fauzi Ismail Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Noriah Bidin Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Norhana Yahya Universiti Teknologi Petronas




Polymeric, Optical, Fiber, POF, PMMA


This work describes the fabrication and evaluation of small core diameter Polymeric Optical fibres (POF) prepared from Poly(Methyl Methacrylate) (PMMA). Based on prior study, POF  has a very interesting property in terms of short-reach local area networks due to the simpler manufacturing process and inherent immunity to electromagnetic interference and radiation. It can overcome the limiting factors of conventional glass-based optical fibre in terms of cost-effective, flexibility and easy installation. This study focused on introducing effective fabrication method to produce small diameter PMMA POF core using extrusion process. Prior to extrusion, we managed to produce PMMA cores with diameters of 650 μm, 750 μm and 850 μm. Based on the outcome of this study, the drawing tension and extrusion temperature have been identified as major influences on core diameter. The SEM images indicated that dense structure and clean surface whereas DSC and TGA  analyses revealed that almost similar glass transition temperature and degradation weight loss in between fabricated PMMA core and industrial polymer optical fibre.

Author Biographies

Amirul Afiat Raffi, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC)

Mukhlis A. Rahman, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC)

Mohd Hafiz Dzarfan Othman, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC)

Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC)

Noriah Bidin, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Laser Centre, Ibnu Sina ISIR 

Norhana Yahya, Universiti Teknologi Petronas

Department of Fundamental and Applied Science


M. Ohashi, “Optical fibers: History and future perspectives,” in OptoElectronics and Communications Conference (OECC), 2010 15th, 2010, Sapporo, Japan, July, 5-9, 2010, pp. 34-35, 2010.

Y. Koike, "Fundamentals of Plastic Optical Fibers". Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 2014.

M. Hoogesteger, R. de O. Schmidt, and A. Pras, “ITSA: Internet traffic statistics archive,” in NOMS 2016 - 2016 IEEE/IFIP Network Operations and Management Symposium, pp. 995–996, 2016.

I. P. Kaminow, T. Li, and A. E. Willner, Optical Fiber Telecommunications V A: Components and Subsystems, 2008.

M. S. Ab-Rahman, H. Guna, M. H. Harun, and K. Jumari, “Fabrikasi dan pencirian pencerai optik 1 × 12 buatan tangan berasaskan gentian optik polimer diperbuat daripada polimetil metakrilat,” Sains Malaysiana, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 459–466, 2010.

M. Atef, R. Swoboda, and H. Zimmermann, “170 Mb/s multilevel transmission over 115 m standard step-index plastic optical fiber using an integrated optical receiver,” Optics Communications, vol. 284, no. 1, pp. 191–194, 2011.

M. Atef, R. Swoboda, and H. Zimmermann, “1.25 Gbit/s Over 50 m step-index plastic optical fiber using a fully integrated optical receiver with an integrated equalizer,” Journal of Lightwave Technology, vol. 30, no. 1. pp. 118–122, 2012.

D. Shan et al., “Flexible biodegradable citrate-based polymeric step-index optical fiber,” Biomaterials, vol. 143, pp. 142–148, 2017.

G. Galleani, Y. Ledemi, E. Soares, D. L. Filho, S. Morency, and J. Ren, “UV-transmitting step-index fluorophosphate glass fiber fabricated by the crucible technique,” vol. 64, pp. 524–532, 2017.

C.-A. Bunge, M. Beckers, and T. Gries, Polymer Optical Fibres: Fibre Types, Materials, Fabrication, Characterisation and Applications. Duxford, United kingdom, 2016.

K. Peters, “Polymer optical fiber sensors—A review,” Smart Materials and Structures, vol. 20, no. 1, p. 13002, 2011.

N. W. Elshereksi, S. H. Mohamed, and A. Arifin, “Thermal characterisation of poly(methyl methacrylate) filled with barium titanate as denture base material,” vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 15–27, 2014.

T. Fateh, F. Richard, T. Rogaume, and P. Joseph, “Experimental and modelling studies on the kinetics and mechanisms of thermal degradation of polymethyl methacrylate in nitrogen and air,” Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, vol. 120, pp. 423–433, 2016.

M. Ferriol, A. Gentilhomme, M. Cochez, N. Oget, and J. L. Mieloszynski, “Thermal degradation of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA): modelling of DTG and TG curves,” Polymer Degradation and Stability, vol. 79, no. 2, pp. 271–281, Jan. 2003.

L. E. Manring, “Thermal degradation of saturated poly(methyl methacrylate),” Macromolecules, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 528–530, Mar. 1988.