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Photonic Glass-Ceramics: Fabrication, Properties and 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 (28 February 2021) | Viewed by 25745

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Spectroscopy of Excited States, Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Okólna St. 2, 50-422 Wrocław, Poland
Interests: sensors; laser spectroscopy; optics; nanoparticles; material characterization; nanomaterials; biomaterials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS UMR 7010, Institut de Physique de Nice, Parc Valrose, 06108 Nice, France
Interests: optical fibers; glass; nanoparticles; rare-earth ions; luminescence

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Guest Editor
Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnology, National Research Council, IFN-CNR CSMFO Lab., Via alla Cascata 56/C, Povo, 38123 Trento, Italy
Interests: glass photonics; properties, structure and processing of glasses, crystals and film for optical applications and photonics; integrated optics; transparent glass ceramics; confined structures including photonic crystals, waveguides, microcavities, and microresonators
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays it is manifest that glass photonics are crucial in a multiplicity of human activities. The clever exploitation of glass photonics provides a large spectrum of applications covering scientific and technological areas critical both for the improvement of everyday life and for future needs such as structural engineering, health and biology, environment monitoring systems, energy, communication technologies, and quantum technologies. Among the different glass-based systems, transparent glass-ceramics offer specific characteristics of ultimate importance in photonics. Glass-ceramics are constituted by nanocrystals embedded in a glass matrix, and the volume fractions of crystalline and amorphous phase determine their unique properties. When activated by luminescent species such as rare earth ions, the embedded nanoparticles and nanocrystals make the spectroscopic properties of the glass-ceramic very appealing. For instance, the presence of the crystalline environment for the rare earth ion allows high absorption and emission cross sections, reduction of the non-radiative relaxation thanks to the lower phonon cut-off energy, and tailoring of the ion–ion interaction by the control of the rare earth ion partition. Glass-ceramics activated by luminescent species are effective optical media to investigate the basic mechanisms and to develop the technologies related to photon propagation in composite materials and luminescence enhancement. Looking at the current literature and to the technological state-of-the-art, it appears evident that, together with transparency, the luminescence efficiency in photonic glass ceramics is proving to be another crucial challenge. There are chemical and physical effects, mainly linked to the ion–ion interactions as well as to the nonradiative relaxation processes, which are detrimental for the efficiency of optical waveguides, and have been the subject of several scientific and technological investigations. Thus, even if commercial devices have long been available, the search for more efficient glass compositions and guiding structures is still ongoing. Glass-ceramics have also been demonstrated to be amazing systems in the case of bioactive glasses. Although the photon is not the main actor in these systems, glass ceramics allow for the control of the local environment of the rare earth ion, and thus reduce the chemical clusters and can give information related to the local stress and strain.

The aim of this Special Issue is to present some consolidated outcomes, novel results, perspectives, and applications in photonic glass-ceramics. Our goal is to disseminate the experiences of leading scientists, but also to offer a platform for people who are developing non-conventional and emerging routes for the development of photonic glass-ceramic materials and systems for advanced applications. From this point of view, we believe that this Special Issue will provide the presentation of technological advances and the latest research on the state-of-the-art in innovative processing and non-conventional applications where photonic glass-ceramics meet the challenges presented by everyday life and future needs. Interested and committed individuals from academia, national laboratories, industries, and start-up companies are invited to contribute by submitting papers regarding the role of photonic glass-ceramics on the following and related topics:

  • Aerospace;
  • Automotive;
  • Bioinspired optical nanostructures;
  • Biomaterials;
  • Coherent and not coherent optical sources;
  • Defense;
  • Energy-related technologies;
  • Environmental protection;
  • Frequency conversion;
  • Healthcare;
  • Integrated optics;
  • Lightning;
  • Luminescent glass-ceramics;
  • Modeling of photonic glass-ceramics;
  • Ongoing applications and forecasts;
  • Phosphors;
  • Photon management;
  • Photonic crystals and light trapping devices;
  • Quantum nanotechnologies;
  • Sensing.

Dr. Anna Lukowiak
Dr. Wilfried Blanc
Dr. Maurizio Ferrari
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • physical and chemical fabrication technologies
  • processing techniques
  • design of innovative optical structures
  • assessment of optical, structural, morphological, and spectroscopic properties
  • functionalization
  • modeling and simulation
  • novel diagnostic techniques
  • probing mechanical, optical, structural, and morphological properties

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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10 pages, 5368 KiB  
Article
Enhancing the Photoluminescence and Microstructural Transformations of Al2O3/Glass–Ceramic Composite Coatings by Laser Irradiation
by Julio Correa, Jairo Murillo, Javier Jurado, Lina García, Liliana Tirado, Hernán Colorado, Jesús Evelio Diosa, Alessandro Chiasera and Clara Goyes
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 5091; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11115091 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2105
Abstract
This work presents an analysis of the crystallization process and the influence of laser surface modification on the crystalline phases and optical responses of Al2O3/glass–ceramic coatings deposited on a brass substrate. We used a CO2 laser at different [...] Read more.
This work presents an analysis of the crystallization process and the influence of laser surface modification on the crystalline phases and optical responses of Al2O3/glass–ceramic coatings deposited on a brass substrate. We used a CO2 laser at different irradiation powers to change the structure of the superficial layer. The photoluminescence response enhanced the resolution of its line shape as the irradiation power increased. X-ray diffraction patterns exhibit the presence of different crystalline phases for the samples irradiated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Glass-Ceramics: Fabrication, Properties and Applications)
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11 pages, 1290 KiB  
Article
Low-Temperature and Low-Pressure Silicon Nitride Deposition by ECR-PECVD for Optical Waveguides
by Dawson B. Bonneville, Jeremy W. Miller, Caitlin Smyth, Peter Mascher and Jonathan D. B. Bradley
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 2110; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11052110 - 27 Feb 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4398
Abstract
We report on low-temperature and low-pressure deposition conditions of 140 °C and 1.5 mTorr, respectively, to achieve high-optical quality silicon nitride thin films. We deposit the silicon nitride films using an electron cyclotron resonance plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (ECR-PECVD) chamber with Ar-diluted SiH [...] Read more.
We report on low-temperature and low-pressure deposition conditions of 140 °C and 1.5 mTorr, respectively, to achieve high-optical quality silicon nitride thin films. We deposit the silicon nitride films using an electron cyclotron resonance plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (ECR-PECVD) chamber with Ar-diluted SiH4, and N2 gas. Variable-angle spectroscopic ellipsometry was used to determine the thickness and refractive index of the silicon nitride films, which ranged from 300 to 650 nm and 1.8 to 2.1 at 638 nm, respectively. We used Rutherford backscattering spectrometry to determine the chemical composition of the films, including oxygen contamination, and elastic recoil detection to characterize the removal of hydrogen after annealing. The as-deposited films are found to have variable relative silicon and nitrogen compositions with significant oxygen content and hydrogen incorporation of 10–20 and 17–21%, respectively. Atomic force microscopy measurements show a decrease in root mean square roughness after annealing for a variety of films. Prism coupling measurements show losses as low as 1.3, 0.3 and 1.5 ± 0.1 dB/cm at 638, 980 and 1550 nm, respectively, without the need for post-process annealing. Based on this study, we find that the as-deposited ECR-PECVD SiOxNy:Hz films have a suitable thickness, refractive index and optical loss for their use in visible and near-infrared integrated photonic devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Glass-Ceramics: Fabrication, Properties and Applications)
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9 pages, 2772 KiB  
Article
Manufacturing Optically Transparent Thick Zirconia Ceramics by Spark Plasma Sintering with the Use of Collector Pressing
by Vladimir Paygin, Edgar Dvilis, Sergey Stepanov, Oleg Khasanov, Damir Valiev, Timofei Alishin, Maurizio Ferrari, Alessandro Chiasera, Vyacheslav Mali and Alexander Anisimov
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 1304; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11031304 - 1 Feb 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2262
Abstract
The efficiency of using the collector pressing scheme in the Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) process has been confirmed in improving the optical, physical, and mechanical properties of yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) ceramics with an increased shape factor. An approach for developing a seal surface [...] Read more.
The efficiency of using the collector pressing scheme in the Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) process has been confirmed in improving the optical, physical, and mechanical properties of yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) ceramics with an increased shape factor. An approach for developing a seal surface and determining the optimal method of increasing pressure and temperature during SPS on this surface was used to optimize the consolidation modes of the materials. It has been shown that transparent/translucent YSZ ceramics with an increased shape factor (14 mm in diameter and up to 5 mm in height, h/d = 0.36) can be successfully fabricated by the SPS technique combined with the collector pressing scheme. The optical properties and microhardness of ceramics obtained using the collector scheme are better to the optical properties of ceramics obtained using the conventional uniaxial pressing scheme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Glass-Ceramics: Fabrication, Properties and Applications)
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17 pages, 4805 KiB  
Article
Impact of Morphology and Microstructure on the Mechanical Properties of Ge-As-Pb-Se Glass Ceramics
by Rashi Sharma, Rebecca S. Welch, Myungkoo Kang, Claudia Goncalves, Cesar Blanco, Andy Buff, Vincent Fauvel, Thomas Loretz, Clara Rivero-Baleine and Kathleen Richardson
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(8), 2836; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10082836 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2724
Abstract
The impact of base glass morphology and post heat-treatment protocol on the mechanical properties (Vickers hardness and Young’s modulus) of a multi-component glass-ceramic was examined. Two parent chalcogenide glasses with identical composition but varying morphology (homogeneous and phase separated) were evaluated for their [...] Read more.
The impact of base glass morphology and post heat-treatment protocol on the mechanical properties (Vickers hardness and Young’s modulus) of a multi-component glass-ceramic was examined. Two parent chalcogenide glasses with identical composition but varying morphology (homogeneous and phase separated) were evaluated for their mechanical properties following identical thermal processing to induce crystallization. The nucleation and growth rates of the starting materials were compared for the two glasses, and the resulting crystal phases and phase fractions formed through heat treatment were quantified and related to measured mechanical properties of the glass ceramics. The presence of a Pb-rich amorphous phase with a higher crystal formation tendency in the phase-separated parent glass significantly impacted the volume fraction of the crystal phases formed after heat-treatment. Pb-rich cubic crystal phases were found to be dominant in the resulting glass ceramic, yielding a minor enhancement of the material’s mechanical properties. This was found to be less than a more moderate enhancement of mechanical properties due to the formation of the dominant needle-like As2Se3 crystallites resulting from heat treatment of the homogeneous, commercially melted parent glass. The greater enhancement of both Vickers hardness and modulus in this glass ceramic attributable to the high-volume fraction of anisotropic As2Se3 crystallites in the post heat-treated commercial melt highlights the important role base glass morphology can play on post heat-treatment microstructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Glass-Ceramics: Fabrication, Properties and Applications)
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8 pages, 1691 KiB  
Article
Ag-Sensitized NIR-Emitting Yb3+-Doped Glass-Ceramics
by Francesco Enrichi, Elti Cattaruzza, Tiziano Finotto, Pietro Riello, Giancarlo C. Righini, Enrico Trave and Alberto Vomiero
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 2184; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10062184 - 23 Mar 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2625
Abstract
The optical photoluminescent (PL) emission of Yb3+ ions in the near infrared (NIR) spectral region at about 950–1100 nm has many potential applications, from photovoltaics to lasers and visual devices. However, due to their simple energy-level structure, Yb3+ ions cannot directly [...] Read more.
The optical photoluminescent (PL) emission of Yb3+ ions in the near infrared (NIR) spectral region at about 950–1100 nm has many potential applications, from photovoltaics to lasers and visual devices. However, due to their simple energy-level structure, Yb3+ ions cannot directly absorb UV or visible light, putting serious limits on their use as light emitters. In this paper we describe a broadband and efficient strategy for sensitizing Yb3+ ions by Ag codoping, resulting in a strong 980 nm PL emission under UV and violet-blue light excitation. Yb-doped silica–zirconia–soda glass–ceramic films were synthesized by sol-gel and dip-coating, followed by annealing at 1000 °C. Ag was then introduced by ion-exchange in a molten salt bath for 1 h at 350 °C. Different post-exchange annealing temperatures for 1 h in air at 380 °C and 430 °C were compared to investigate the possibility of migration/aggregation of the metal ions. Studies of composition showed about 1–2 wt% Ag in the exchanged samples, not modified by annealing. Structural analysis reported the stabilization of cubic zirconia by Yb-doping. Optical measurements showed that, in particular for the highest annealing temperature of 430 °C, the potential improvement of the material’s quality, which would increase the PL emission, is less relevant than Ag-aggregation, which decreases the sensitizers number, resulting in a net reduction of the PL intensity. However, all the Ag-exchanged samples showed a broadband Yb3+ sensitization by energy transfer from Ag aggregates, clearly attested by a broad photoluminescence excitation spectra after Ag-exchange, paving the way for applications in various fields, such as solar cells and NIR-emitting devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Glass-Ceramics: Fabrication, Properties and Applications)
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11 pages, 1317 KiB  
Article
Sol-Gel Glass-Ceramic Materials Containing CaF2:Eu3+ Fluoride Nanocrystals for Reddish-Orange Photoluminescence Applications
by Natalia Pawlik, Barbara Szpikowska-Sroka, Tomasz Goryczka and Wojciech A. Pisarski
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(24), 5490; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9245490 - 13 Dec 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2563
Abstract
CaF2:Eu3+ glass-ceramic sol-gel materials have been examined for reddish-orange photoluminescence applications. The transformation from precursor xerogels to glass-ceramic materials with dispersed fluoride nanocrystals was verified using several experimental methods: differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TG), X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission [...] Read more.
CaF2:Eu3+ glass-ceramic sol-gel materials have been examined for reddish-orange photoluminescence applications. The transformation from precursor xerogels to glass-ceramic materials with dispersed fluoride nanocrystals was verified using several experimental methods: differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TG), X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), infrared spectroscopy (IR-ATR), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and photoluminescence measurements. Based on luminescence spectra and their decays, the optical behavior of Eu3+ ions in fabricated glass-ceramics were characterized and compared to those of precursor xerogels. In particular, the determined luminescence lifetime of the 5D0 excited state of Eu3+ ions in nanocrystalline CaF2:Eu3+ glass-ceramic materials is significantly prolonged in comparison with prepared xerogels. The integrated intensities of emission bands associated to the 5D07F2 electric-dipole transition (ED) and the 5D07F1 magnetic-dipole transition (MD) are changed drastically during controlled ceramization process of xerogels. This implies the efficient migration of Eu3+ ions from amorphous silicate sol-gel network into low-phonon energy CaF2 nanocrystals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Glass-Ceramics: Fabrication, Properties and Applications)
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12 pages, 2935 KiB  
Article
Chalcogenide–Tellurite Composite Photonic Crystal Fiber: Extreme Non-Linearity Meets Large Birefringence
by Amir Ahmadian and Yashar Esfahani Monfared
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(20), 4445; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9204445 - 19 Oct 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2587
Abstract
In this paper, we propose a novel design of a photonic crystal fiber (PCF) with tellurite-cladding, three rings of air-holes and elliptical concentration of As2S3 in the fiber core. The combined effect of tight mode confinement (an effective mode area [...] Read more.
In this paper, we propose a novel design of a photonic crystal fiber (PCF) with tellurite-cladding, three rings of air-holes and elliptical concentration of As2S3 in the fiber core. The combined effect of tight mode confinement (an effective mode area of nearly 0.6 µm2), large non-linear refractive index of As2S3 and significant variation between the effective modal index values of the two orthogonal states of the fundamental guided mode leads to extreme non-linear coefficient and birefringence values, all achieved at the zero dispersion wavelength (ZDW) of 1550 nm. The corresponding birefringence and non-linear coefficient (7 × 10−3 and 28 W−1 m−1, respectively) are more than three orders of magnitude larger than that of the regular silica-based highly non-linear PCFs. In addition, we numerically demonstrate that by modifying the core and air-hole dimensions one can easily control the dispersion curve and tune the ZDW of the proposed fiber to any excitation wavelength ranging from near-infrared to short-wave-infrared, including optical telecommunication windows close to 1550 nm. The superior characteristics of the proposed elliptical-core composite PCF including extreme non-linearity, nearly-zero confinement loss (2.47 × 10−12 dB/cm), the ability to maintain polarization of light, and tunable ZDW can open the door to new possibilities in non-linear optics, optical telecommunications, optical signal processing, and sensing devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Glass-Ceramics: Fabrication, Properties and Applications)
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Review

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21 pages, 3171 KiB  
Review
Glass-Ceramics Processed by Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) for Optical Applications
by Babu Singarapu, Dušan Galusek, Alicia Durán and María Jesús Pascual
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(8), 2791; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10082791 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 4530
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photonic Glass-Ceramics: Fabrication, Properties and Applications)
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