Fabrication and characterization of SiO2 glass containing YbPO4 crystals
in: Optical Materials Express (2023)
In the present work, we report on the preparation of silicate glass containing crystals by means of melting a mixture of YbPO4 xenotime structured crystals and SiO2 nanoparticles. This nanoparticle mixture is used for preparation of large volume core preforms for laser active optical fiber. Temperature dependent sintering and fiber drawing experiments at temperatures up to about 2000 °C were conducted in order to assess the integrity of the crystals in the preform and fiber, respectively. The survival of YbPO4 crystalline particles in silica was investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD), electron probe microanalysis (EPMA), Raman spectroscopy as well as static and time resolved fluorescence measurements. It was found that the particles withstand the high-temperature steps during the fiber fabrication process. XRD and spectroscopic measurements suggest that the Yb ions are located in a crystalline but also in an amorphous silica-dominated surrounding in the fiber, suggesting the partial decomposition of the crystals during the fiber fabrication.