Design and fabrication of an optical fiber made of water

Mark L. Douvidzon*, Shai Maayani, Leopoldo L. Martin, Tal Carmon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this report, an optical fiber of which the core is made solely of water, while the cladding is air, is designed and manufactured. In contrast with solid-cladding devices, capillary oscillations are not restricted, allowing the fiber walls to move and vibrate. The fiber is constructed by a high direct current (DC) voltage of several thousand volts (kV) between two water reservoirs that creates a floating water thread, known as a water bridge. Through the choice of micropipettes, it is possible to control the maximal diameter and length of the fiber. Optical fiber couplers, at both sides of the bridge, activate it as an optical waveguide, allowing researchers to monitor the water fiber capillary body waves through transmission modulation and, therefore, deducing changes in surface tension. Co-confining two important wave types, capillary and electromagnetic, opens a new path of research in the interactions between light and liquid-wall devices. Water-walled microdevices are a million times softer than their solid counterparts, accordingly improving the response to minute forces.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere58174
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number141
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Engineering
  • Fiber optics
  • Issue 141
  • MECS
  • MEMS
  • Micro-optics
  • Optocapillaries
  • Optofluidics
  • Optomechanics


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