A review of the photo-thermal mechanism and crystallization of photo-thermo-refractive (PTR) glass

Abstract : Photo-thermo-refractive (PTR) glass is an optically transparent photosensitive multicomponent silicate glass. UV-exposure produces silver nanoclusters, and NaF nanocrystals upon heating, giving rise to permanent refractive index changes. This is the basis for the production of Bragg gratings. In this article, we present a comprehensive overview of the photo-thermoinduced effects in PTR glass. We first give a general introduction of PTR glasses and their applications. Then, we perform a thorough analysis of the mechanisms of refractive index changes starting with the photo-induced process followed by the crystal nucleation mechanism and NaF crystallisation kinetics. Finally, we concentrate on the PTR glass nanostructure and its effect on the crystallisation mechanisms and properties, finishing with the kinetics and origin of the refractive index change. Despite the fact that much is known about this septuagenarian glass and that it is already being commercially produced, a number of open problems still exist that warrant further investigation.
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Julien Lumeau, Edgar Dutra Zanotto. A review of the photo-thermal mechanism and crystallization of photo-thermo-refractive (PTR) glass. International Materials Reviews, ASM International, 2017, 62 (6), pp.348 - 366. ⟨10.1080/09506608.2016.1264132⟩. ⟨hal-01528362⟩

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