Surface Analysis and Treatment of Extruded Fluoride Phosphate Glass Preforms for Optical Fiber Fabrication
Fabrication of fluoride phosphate glass optical fibers using the extrusion method for preform fabrication has been studied using the commercial Schott N‐FK51A glass. The extrusion step was found to create a surface layer of differing composition from the bulk glass material, leading to defects drawn down onto the optical fiber surface during fiber fabrication, resulting in high loss and fragile fibers. Similar phenomena have also been observed in other fluoride‐based glasses. Removal of this surface layer from preforms prior to fiber drawing was shown to improve optical fiber loss from >5 dB/m to 0.5–1.0 dB/m. The removal of this surface layer is therefore necessary to produce low‐loss fluoride phosphate optical fibers.
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