Reconsidering nanoparticles in optical fibers

Wilfried Blanc, Zhuorui Lu, Manuel Vermillac, Jorel Fourmont, Isabelle Martin, Hugues François Saint-Cyr, Carlo Molardi, Daniele Tosi, Andrea Piarresteguy, Franck Mady, Mourad Benabdesselam, Franck Pigeonneau, Stéphane Chaussedent, Christelle Guillermier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


Rare-earth (RE) doped optical fibers are extensively used in lasers and optical amplifier devices. These key applications rely on the qualities of silica glass: mechanical and chemical stability, high optical damage threshold, low cost, etc. However, silica glass has certain characteristics which may make it less efficient compared to other types of glass, particularly in some potential applications using RE ions: high phonon energy, low solubility of RE ions, etc. To overcome these limitations, one recent strategy consists of developing a fabrication method which triggers RE encapsulation in phase-separated nanoparticles. The development of this family of optical fibers was driven by this requirement: the particles must be as small as possible to avoid light scattering. However, recent studies discussed in this article tend to disapprove this doxa. First, we present the fabrication process of such fibers, emphasizing the drawing step as a process to control the shape and size of the nanoparticles. Then, we discuss on the characterization of the composition of these nanoparticles at the nm-scale. To reach this goal, we took advantage of a recent technology: Atom Probe Tomography. These results will be compared with molecular dynamics simulations. We demonstrate that the phase-separated nanoparticle composition and therefore the chemical environment of the encapsulated RE ions is nanoparticles size dependent. As a consequence, the smallest nanoparticles, promoted by the doxa, would offer limited alteration of the luminescent properties. Finally, light scattering is not only an issue but is also an opportunity to develop new temperature, strain, refractive index multiplexed optical fiber sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptical Components and Materials XVII
EditorsShibin Jiang, Michel J. F. Digonnet
ISBN (Electronic)9781510633155
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventOptical Components and Materials XVII 2020 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 4 2020Feb 6 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceOptical Components and Materials XVII 2020
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Amplifiers
  • Lasers
  • Nanoparticles
  • Optical fibers
  • Rare-earth ions
  • Sensors
  • Silica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Reconsidering nanoparticles in optical fibers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this