Special Issue "Ion-exchange in Glasses and Crystals: from Theory to Applications "

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Optics and Lasers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 April 2021) | Viewed by 7069

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Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jesús Liñares Beiras
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Applied Physics Department, University of Santiago de Compostela, E-15782 Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain
Interests: integrated optics; quantum photonics; spatial multiplexing
Dr. Giancarlo C. Righini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
"Nello Carrara" Institute of Applied Physics—National Research Council (IFAC-CNR), I-50019 Firenze, Italy
Interests: glassy and glass-ceramic materials; nanostructured materials; microfabrication; integrated optics; optical microresonators
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We cordially invite you to contribute to this Special Issue on ion exchange in glasses and crystals. As you know, the ion-exchange reaction may be defined, according to Britannica.com, as any of a class of chemical reactions between two substances (each consisting of positively and negatively charged species called ions) that involves an exchange of one or more ionic components. Since its first observation in 1850, ion-exchange has become a fundamental process in many applications involving treatment and purification of water and, more generally, in catalysis, chromatography, food industry, pharmaceutical industry. One of the first relevant applications of ion-exchange, however, was in the industry of glass, with the surface tempering of glass produced by a K+-Na+ ion exchange; nowadays, ion exchange-strengthened glass is present in many smartphones. One century ago, in 1918, Schott researchers observed that ion exchange also produced an increase of the refractive index in the diffused layers.

In a century, the applications of the ion-exchange (IOX) process in glasses and crystals have been very many, allowing us the production of graded-index optical components and waveguides, of passive and active devices. Ion-exchange in glass and ferroelectric crystals, such as lithium niobate, has been fundamental for the development of many linear and nonlinear integrated optical devices.

This Special Issue aims at producing an updated overview of this wide field, reviewing the current state-of-the-art and presenting perspectives of further development. Contributions are sought related to fundamental aspects, design and fabrication processes, characterization, and, eventually, applications of ion-exchange technology in different types of glasses and crystals. Even if the core of this Special Issue will presumably be concerned with photonic applications, other uses of ion-exchange in glasses and crystals will also be of interest.

Original research papers in all areas of theory, fabrication, characterization and applications of ion-exchange in glasses, glass-ceramics, and crystals will be considered, including but not limited to:

  • Thermal and field-assisted diffusion processes
  • Ion-exchange processes in oxide glasses, chalcogenide glasses, other glasses
  • Ion-exchange in glass-ceramics
  • Ion-exchange processes in ferroelectric and other crystals
  • Ion exchange in semiconductors
  • Nanomaterials synthesis by ion-exchange techniques
  • Modeling of ion-exchange process
  • Graded-index structures by ion-exchange (microlenses, optical gratings, GRIN lenses, mode converters, etc.)
  • Ion-exchange based integrated optics (waveguides, components, modulators, nonlinear devices, amplifiers and lasers, sensors, etc.)
  • Other applications

Review articles on any aspect of ion-exchange in glasses and crystals will be considered as well. Prospective authors are encouraged to contact the Guest Editors to submit their proposal.

Prof. Dr. Jesús Liñares Beiras
Dr. Giancarlo C. Righini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • ion exchange
  • diffusion
  • graded-index structures
  • optical materials
  • fiber optics
  • integrated optics
  • diffractive optics
  • microoptics
  • nonlinear optics

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Governing Functionality of Silver Ion-Exchanged Photo-Thermo-Refractive Glass Matrix by Small Additives
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 3891; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11093891 - 25 Apr 2021
Viewed by 591
Abstract
In this study, the influence of small additives on the spectral and optical properties of Na+–Ag+ ion-exchanged silicate glass is presented. Polyvalent ions, for example, cerium and antimony, are shown to reduce silver ions to atomic state and promote the [...] Read more.
In this study, the influence of small additives on the spectral and optical properties of Na+–Ag+ ion-exchanged silicate glass is presented. Polyvalent ions, for example, cerium and antimony, are shown to reduce silver ions to atomic state and promote the growth of photoluminescent silver molecular clusters and plasmonic silver nanoparticles. Na+–Ag+ ion-exchanged and heat-treated glasses doped with halogen ions, such as chlorine or bromine, exhibit formation of photo- and thermochromic AgCl or AgBr nanocrystals. Growth of a silver nanoisland film on the glass surface was observed in the case of undoped sample. The presented results highlight the vital role of small additives to control properties of the silver nanostructures in Na+–Ag+ ion-exchanged glasses. Possible applications of Na+–Ag+ ion-exchanged glass ceramics include but are not limited to biochemical sensors based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering phenomena, temperature and overheating sensors, white light-emitting diodes, and spectral converters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion-exchange in Glasses and Crystals: from Theory to Applications )
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Article
A Polygonal Model to Design and Fabricate Ion-Exchanged Diffraction Gratings
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 1500; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11041500 - 07 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 523
Abstract
We propose a simple polygonal model to describe the phase profile of ion-exchanged gratings. This model enables the design of these gratings, as well as the characterization of the ion-exchange process itself. Several ion-exchanged gratings were fabricated to validate the model and to [...] Read more.
We propose a simple polygonal model to describe the phase profile of ion-exchanged gratings. This model enables the design of these gratings, as well as the characterization of the ion-exchange process itself. Several ion-exchanged gratings were fabricated to validate the model and to characterize the process involved in their fabrication. From this characterization, we show the practical utility of the model by designing and fabricating both a grating that removes the zero order and a three splitter. The performance of these two elements was good, although the first one stood out especially because only 0.5% of the power remained in the zero order after diffraction. This polygonal model could be useful to design more complex diffractive elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion-exchange in Glasses and Crystals: from Theory to Applications )
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Article
Investigation of Ytterbium Incorporation in Lithium Niobate for Active Waveguide Devices
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 2189; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10062189 - 24 Mar 2020
Viewed by 1012
Abstract
In this work, we report on an investigation of the ytterbium diffusion characteristics in lithium niobate. Ytterbium-doped substrates were prepared by in-diffusion of thin metallic layers coated onto x- and z-cut congruent substrates at different temperatures. The ytterbium profiles were investigated in detail [...] Read more.
In this work, we report on an investigation of the ytterbium diffusion characteristics in lithium niobate. Ytterbium-doped substrates were prepared by in-diffusion of thin metallic layers coated onto x- and z-cut congruent substrates at different temperatures. The ytterbium profiles were investigated in detail by means of secondary neutral mass spectroscopy, optical microscopy, and optical spectroscopy. Diffusion from an infinite source was used to determine the solubility limit of ytterbium in lithium niobate as a function of temperature. The derived diffusion parameters are of importance for the development of active waveguide devices in ytterbium-doped lithium niobate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion-exchange in Glasses and Crystals: from Theory to Applications )
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Review

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Review
Active and Quantum Integrated Photonic Elements by Ion Exchange in Glass
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 5222; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11115222 - 04 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 818
Abstract
Ion exchange in glass has a long history as a simple and effective technology to produce gradient-index structures and has been largely exploited in industry and in research laboratories. In particular, ion-exchanged waveguide technology has served as an excellent platform for theoretical and [...] Read more.
Ion exchange in glass has a long history as a simple and effective technology to produce gradient-index structures and has been largely exploited in industry and in research laboratories. In particular, ion-exchanged waveguide technology has served as an excellent platform for theoretical and experimental studies on integrated optical circuits, with successful applications in optical communications, optical processing and optical sensing. It should not be forgotten that the ion-exchange process can be exploited in crystalline materials, too, and several crucial devices, such as optical modulators and frequency doublers, have been fabricated by ion exchange in lithium niobate. Here, however, we are concerned only with glass material, and a brief review is presented of the main aspects of optical waveguides and passive and active integrated optical elements, as directional couplers, waveguide gratings, integrated optical amplifiers and lasers, all fabricated by ion exchange in glass. Then, some promising research activities on ion-exchanged glass integrated photonic devices, and in particular quantum devices (quantum circuits), are analyzed. An emerging type of passive and/or reconfigurable devices for quantum cryptography or even for specific quantum processing tasks are presently gaining an increasing interest in integrated photonics; accordingly, we propose their implementation by using ion-exchanged glass waveguides, also foreseeing their integration with ion-exchanged glass lasers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion-exchange in Glasses and Crystals: from Theory to Applications )
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Review
Theoretical Modelling of Ion Exchange Processes in Glass: Advances and Challenges
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 5070; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11115070 - 30 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1081
Abstract
In the last few years, some advances have been made in the theoretical modelling of ion exchange processes in glass. On the one hand, the equations that describe the evolution of the cation concentration were rewritten in a more rigorous manner. This was [...] Read more.
In the last few years, some advances have been made in the theoretical modelling of ion exchange processes in glass. On the one hand, the equations that describe the evolution of the cation concentration were rewritten in a more rigorous manner. This was made into two theoretical frameworks. In the first one, the self-diffusion coefficients were assumed to be constant, whereas, in the second one, a more realistic cation behaviour was considered by taking into account the so-called mixed ion effect. Along with these equations, the boundary conditions for the usual ion exchange processes from molten salts, silver and copper films and metallic cathodes were accordingly established. On the other hand, the modelling of some ion exchange processes that have attracted a great deal of attention in recent years, including glass poling, electro-diffusion of multivalent metals and the formation/dissolution of silver nanoparticles, has been addressed. In such processes, the usual approximations that are made in ion exchange modelling are not always valid. An overview of the progress made and the remaining challenges in the modelling of these unique processes is provided at the end of this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion-exchange in Glasses and Crystals: from Theory to Applications )
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Review
Towards a Glass New World: The Role of Ion-Exchange in Modern Technology
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 4610; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11104610 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1125
Abstract
Glasses, in their different forms and compositions, have special properties that are not found in other materials. The combination of transparency and hardness at room temperature, combined with a suitable mechanical strength and excellent chemical durability, makes this material indispensable for many applications [...] Read more.
Glasses, in their different forms and compositions, have special properties that are not found in other materials. The combination of transparency and hardness at room temperature, combined with a suitable mechanical strength and excellent chemical durability, makes this material indispensable for many applications in different technological fields (as, for instance, the optical fibres which constitute the physical carrier for high-speed communication networks as well as the transducer for a wide range of high-performance sensors). For its part, ion-exchange from molten salts is a well-established, low-cost technology capable of modifying the chemical-physical properties of glass. The synergy between ion-exchange and glass has always been a happy marriage, from its ancient historical background for the realisation of wonderful artefacts, to the discovery of novel and fascinating solutions for modern technology (e.g., integrated optics). Getting inspiration from some hot topics related to the application context of this technique, the goal of this critical review is to show how ion-exchange in glass, far from being an obsolete process, can still have an important impact in everyday life, both at a merely commercial level as well as at that of frontier research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion-exchange in Glasses and Crystals: from Theory to Applications )
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Review
Integrated Photonics on Glass: A Review of the Ion-Exchange Technology Achievements
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 4472; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11104472 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 834
Abstract
Ion-exchange on glass is one of the major technological platforms that are available to manufacture low-cost, high performance Planar Lightwave Circuits (PLC). In this paper, the principle of ion-exchanged waveguide realization is presented. Then a review of the main achievements observed over the [...] Read more.
Ion-exchange on glass is one of the major technological platforms that are available to manufacture low-cost, high performance Planar Lightwave Circuits (PLC). In this paper, the principle of ion-exchanged waveguide realization is presented. Then a review of the main achievements observed over the last 30 years will be given. The focus is first made on devices for telecommunications (passive and active ones) before the application of ion-exchanged waveguides to sensors is addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion-exchange in Glasses and Crystals: from Theory to Applications )
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