This paper presents a review on the preparation of glass-ceramics (GCs) and, in particular, transparent GCs by the advanced processing technique of spark plasma sintering (SPS). SPS is an important approach to obtain from simple to complex nanostructured transparent GCs, full densification in a short time, and highly homogeneous materials for optical applications. The influence of the different processing parameters, such as temperature, pressure, sintering dwell time on the shrinkage rate, and final densification and transparency, are discussed and how this affects the glass material properties. Normally, transparent glass-ceramics are obtained by conventional melt-quenching, followed by thermal treatment. Additionally, the GC scan is produced by sintering and crystallization from glass powders. Hot pressing techniques (HP) in which the source of heating is high-frequency induction can be also applied to enhance this process. In the case of transparent ceramics and glass-ceramics, spark plasma sintering is a promising processing tool. It is possible to enhance the material properties in terms of its compactness, porosities, crystallization, keeping the size of the crystals in the nanometric scale. Moreover, the introduction of a high concentration of active gain media into the host matrix provides functional glass-ceramics systems with enhanced luminescence intensity through reducing non-radiative transitions like multi phonon relaxation (MPR) and cross relaxations (CR), thus providing longer lifetimes. More effort is needed to better understand the sintering mechanisms by SPS in transparent GC systems and optimize their final optical performance.
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