Glass ceramics for photons management.

Tran L.T.N., Massella D., Chiappini A., Chiasera A., Varas S., Armellini C., Carpentiero A., Berneschi S., Nunzi Conti G., Gates J., Ischia G., Prudenzano F., Zur L., Lukowiak A., Zonta D., Ferrari M.

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Glass-based rare-earth--activated optical structures are the cornerstone of several photonic applications covering health and biology, structural engineering, environment monitoring systems and quantum technologies. Among different glass-based systems, a strategic place is assigned to transparent glass-ceramics, nanocomposite materials, which offer specific characteristics of capital importance in photonics. These two-phase materials are constituted by nanocrystals or nanoparticles dispersed in a glassy matrix. The key to make the spectroscopic properties of the glass-ceramics very attractive for photonic applications is to activate the nanocrystals by luminescent species as rare earth ions. Here we discuss the fabrication and assessment of $Er_{3}^{+-}$ activated $SiO_{2}$ - $SnO_{2}$ glass-ceramic produced by a sol-gel route.

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