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Mechanisms for the Crystallization of ZblanThe heavy metal fluoride glasses represent a class of reasonably good glass forming compositions with very unique infrared optical properties that have been of interest to researchers for 20 years. The most extensively studied glass with the most potential for practical applications is ZBLAN which contains the fluorides of zirconium, barium, lanthanum, aluminum, and sodium. It has a broad transmission range (0.3-6 um), low index of refraction (about 1.43), low dispersion, low Raleigh scattering, ultra-low thermal 2 dispersion, and potential ultra-low signal attenuation. Potential applications include fiber amplifiers, fiber optic gyroscopes, delivery systems for laser cutting, drilling and surgery, radiation resistant data links, nonlinear optical systems, and ultra-low-loss repeater-less transcontinental and transoceanic optical fiber. Potential markets for these materials are in the tens of billions of dollars per year. Optical fiber from this system possess excellent transmission characteristics in the IR, but the glass is somewhat susceptible to nucleation and crystallization. The theoretical intrinsic loss coefficient for ZBLAN at 2 microns is 0.00 1 dB/Km. Extrinsic losses, however, cause significant attenuation. The lowest loss coefficient measured is 0.7 dB/Km. This compares with the loss coefficient for fiber optic grade fused silica glass of 0.2 dB/Km. The extrinsic losses in ZBLAN have been attributed to 1) impurities which might be lowered by containerless processing and 2) to scattering from micro-crystallites that form during glass preform production or during fiber drawing.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Ethridge, Edwin C.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Tucker, Dennis S.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 2001
Publication Information
Publication: Microgravity Materials Science Conference 2000
Volume: 1
Subject Category
Solid-State Physics
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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