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Sol–Gel-Derived Glass-Ceramic Photorefractive Films for Photonic Structures

Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research, PAS, 2 Okolna St., 50-422 Wroclaw, Poland
Centro di Studi e Ricerche “Enrico Fermi”, Piazza del Viminale 1, 00184 Roma, Italy
IFN-CNR CSMFO Lab., and FBK Photonics Unit via alla Cascata 56/C Povo, 38123 Trento, Italy
DICAM Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, Via Mesiano, 77, 38123 Trento, Italy
Ho Chi Minh City University of Technical Education, 1 Vo Van Ngan Street, Linh Chieu Ward, Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Department of Physics, Via Sommarive 14, Povo, 38123 Trento, Italy
CNR-IFAC Via Madonna del Piano, 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, FI, Italy
Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur 721302, India
University of Strathclyde Glasgow, 16 Richmond St, Glasgow G1 1XQ, UK
College of Engineering, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Rui M. Almeida and Luís F. Santos
Crystals 2017, 7(2), 61;
Received: 5 January 2017 / Revised: 8 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crystallization of Sol-Gel Derived Glasses)
PDF [1106 KB, uploaded 21 February 2017]


Glass photonics are widespread, from everyday objects around us to high-tech specialized devices. Among different technologies, sol–gel synthesis allows for nanoscale materials engineering by exploiting its unique structures, such as transparent glass-ceramics, to tailor optical and electromagnetic properties and to boost photon-management yield. Here, we briefly discuss the state of the technology and show that the choice of the sol–gel as a synthesis method brings the advantage of process versatility regarding materials composition and ease of implementation. In this context, we present tin-dioxide–silica (SnO2–SiO2) glass-ceramic waveguides activated by europium ions (Eu3+). The focus is on the photorefractive properties of this system because its photoluminescence properties have already been discussed in the papers presented in the bibliography. The main findings include the high photosensitivity of sol–gel 25SnO2:75SiO2 glass-ceramic waveguides; the ultraviolet (UV)-induced refractive index change (Δn ~ −1.6 × 10−3), the easy fabrication process, and the low propagation losses (0.5 ± 0.2 dB/cm), that make this glass-ceramic an interesting photonic material for smart optical applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: sol–gel; SnO2–SiO2; transparent glass-ceramics; photorefractivity; planar waveguides; attenuation coefficient; Lorentz–Lorenz formula sol–gel; SnO2–SiO2; transparent glass-ceramics; photorefractivity; planar waveguides; attenuation coefficient; Lorentz–Lorenz formula

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Lukowiak, A.; Zur, L.; Tran, T.N.L.; Meneghetti, M.; Berneschi, S.; Nunzi Conti, G.; Pelli, S.; Trono, C.; Bhaktha, B.S.; Zonta, D.; Taccheo, S.; Righini, G.C.; Ferrari, M. Sol–Gel-Derived Glass-Ceramic Photorefractive Films for Photonic Structures. Crystals 2017, 7, 61.

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