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2 May 2014 Insights into microstructure and chemistry of active fiber core material produced by the granulated silica method
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The production of special fibers relies on new methods and materials to incorporate new functionalities into optical fibers by virtues of dopants and structure. In particular, the granulated silica method allows to rapidly produce active fibers with high dopant content and with virtually any microstructure. The implementation of this production method requires a multitude of process steps at various temperatures and temperature gradients that can significantly influence the optical properties of the produced preforms and fibers. To better understand and optimize the processes of active material production and fiber drawing parameters we have done a thorough analysis of microstructure, phase development, crystallinity and chemical mapping of active fiber cores produced by a combination of sol-gel process and granulated silica method with and without employment of a CO2 laser treatment. The microstructure of fibers have been analyzed with a diverse suite of techniques in Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), revealing formation of various silica polymorphs and distribution of active elements (i.e. Yb and P) into the core structure. Our results show the presence of another polymorph of silica with low crystallinity dispersed in the main amorphous polymorph (i.e. quartz). We conclude that in spite of importance of homogeneous distribution of Yb and P into the core, the formation of various silica polymorphs resulting from materials processing has to be considered.
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H. Najafi, D. Etissa, and V. Romano "Insights into microstructure and chemistry of active fiber core material produced by the granulated silica method", Proc. SPIE 9128, Micro-structured and Specialty Optical Fibres III, 91280V (2 May 2014);


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