Fibers are one of the most fundamental material forms, made by nature or by humans. In particular, optical fibers now are widely used in a multitude of applications, ranging from telecommunications to monitoring structural integrity of bridges. Integration of materials with disparate electrical, optical, thermal, or mechanical properties into a single fiber with complex architecture and diverse functionalities presents new opportunities for extending fiber applications in numerous fields, especially as optoelectronic devices. This chapter presents the development of optoelectronic fibers, from the fundamentals to in-fiber device demonstration. Especially, the integration of semiconductor materials into fiber geometries provides a unique route to introduce new optoelectronic functionality into existing glass fiber technologies. Firstly, as the core material, multi-material fibers made of semiconductor materials such as silicon, germanium, and compound semiconductors are developed, which offer different advantages in terms of the material, geometry, and waveguiding properties. Then, three main fabrication approaches to produce these fibers are summarized, in which the first approach is based on traditional drawing tower technique, the second approach involves chemical deposition inside glass capillary templates, and the third approach takes advantage of in-fiber fluid instability phenomenon. Finally, future prospects and applications of this new class of fibers are discussed.
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