Poling of silica glass

  • Kristensen, Martin (Project Manager)
  • Arentoft, Jesper (Project Participant)

    Project Details

    Description

    Project goal:
    The goal is to realize a fast optical switch for use in optical networks. The switch is operated, through the electro-optic effect, by applying a voltage to the glass. Compared to existing electro-optic switches, the glass-based switch is potentially much cheaper and is easier to integrate with optical fibers.
    Project description:
    Using glass to build an electro-optic component is in principle not possible, as glasses do not show electro-optic effects. The underlying reason for this is the disordered structure of glass. If some kind of order is introduced in the glass an electro-optic effect will also be induced. One way to introduce order is by poling. Poling glass means to apply a very high voltage to the material and simultaneously heat it or expose it to laser radiation. After poling the glass shows electro-optic effects.
    Project status:
    We have induced stable electro-optic effects in silica glass. No decay of the induced effect was observed after 14 months. The induced effects are large enough to make us believe that the project goal is reachable within 2 years. Effort is also put into understanding the physical processes taking place during poling, as these are not yet clear.
    StatusFinished
    Effective start/end date01/07/199631/12/1999