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Appl Opt. 2016 Sep 20;55(27):7455-61. doi: 10.1364/AO.55.007455.

Radiation hardening of sol gel-derived silica fiber preforms through fictive temperature reduction.

Abstract

The impact of fictive temperature (T<sub>f</sub>) on the evolution of point defects and optical attenuation in non-doped and Er<sup>3+</sup>-doped sol-gel silica glasses was studied and compared to Suprasil F300 and Infrasil 301 glasses before and after γ-irradiation. To this aim, sol-gel optical fiber preforms have been fabricated by the densification of erbium salt-soaked nanoporous silica xerogels through the polymeric sol-gel technique. These γ-irradiated fiber preforms have been characterized by FTIR, UV-vis-NIR absorption spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance, and photoluminescence measurements. We showed that a decrease in the glass fictive temperature leads to a decrease in the glass disorder and strained bonds. This mainly results in a lower defect generation rate and thus less radiation-induced attenuation in the UV-vis range. Furthermore, it was found that γ-radiation "hardness" is higher in Er<sup>3+</sup>-doped sol-gel silica compared to un-doped sol-gel silica and standard synthetic silica glasses. The present work demonstrates an effective strategy to improve the radiation resistance of optical fiber preforms and glasses through glass fictive temperature reduction.

PMID:
27661569
DOI:
10.1364/AO.55.007455

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