The highly nonequilibrium conditions under which optical fibers conventionally are drawn afford considerable, yet underappreciated, opportunities to realize fibers comprised of novel materials or materials that themselves cannot be directly fabricated into fiber form using commercial scalable methods. Presented here is an in-depth analysis of the physical, compositional, and selected optical properties of silica-clad erbium-doped yttrium aluminosilicate glass optical fibers derived from undoped, 0.25, and 50 wt % Er3+ -doped yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) crystals. The YAG-derived fibers were found to be noncrystalline as evidenced by x-ray diffraction and corroborated by spectroscopic measurements. Elemental analysis across the core/clad interface strongly suggests that diffusion plays a large role in this amorphization. Despite the noncrystalline nature of the fibers, they do exhibit acceptable low losses (∼0.15-0.2 dB/m) for many applications, broad-band emissions in the near-infrared, and enhanced thermal conductivity along their length while maintaining equivalent mechanical strength with respect to conventional silica optical fibers. Further, considerably higher rare-earth doping levels are realized than can be achieved by conventional solution or vapor-phase doping schemes. A discussion of opportunities for such approaches to nontraditional fiber materials is presented.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)