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Materials 2014, 7(10), 6947-6964; doi:10.3390/ma7106947

New Methods of Enhancing the Thermal Durability of Silica Optical Fibers

1
InPhoTech, ul. Slomińskiego 17/31, 00-195 Warszawa, Poland
2
ELMAT, Rogoźnica 312, 36-060 Głogów Małopolski, Poland
3
Institute of Applied Physics, Military University of Technology, ul. Kaliskiego 2, 00-980 Warszawa, Poland
4
Polish Centre for Photonics and Fibre Optics, Rogoźnica 312, 36-060 Głogów Małopolski, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 June 2014 / Revised: 22 September 2014 / Accepted: 24 September 2014 / Published: 13 October 2014
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Abstract

Microstructured optical fibers can be precisely tailored for many different applications, out of which sensing has been found to be particularly interesting. However, placing silica optical fiber sensors in harsh environments results in their quick destruction as a result of the hydrolysis process. In this paper, the degradation mechanism of bare and metal-coated optical fibers at high temperatures under longitudinal strain has been determined by detailed analysis of the thermal behavior of silica and metals, like copper and nickel. We furthermore propose a novel method of enhancing the lifetime of optical fibers by the deposition of electroless nickel-phosphorous alloy in a low-temperature chemical process. The best results were obtained for a coating comprising an inner layer of copper and outer layer of low phosphorous nickel. Lifetime values obtained during the annealing experiments were extrapolated to other temperatures by a dedicated model elaborated by the authors. The estimated copper-coated optical fiber lifetime under cycled longitudinal strain reached 31 h at 450 °C. View Full-Text
Keywords: optical fiber sensors; harsh environments; microstructured optical fibers; metal-coated optical fibers; thermal degradation of silica; thermal reliability of optical fibers optical fiber sensors; harsh environments; microstructured optical fibers; metal-coated optical fibers; thermal degradation of silica; thermal reliability of optical fibers
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wysokiński, K.; Stańczyk, T.; Gibała, K.; Tenderenda, T.; Ziołowicz, A.; Słowikowski, M.; Broczkowska, M.; Nasiłowski, T. New Methods of Enhancing the Thermal Durability of Silica Optical Fibers. Materials 2014, 7, 6947-6964.

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