Step index multimode optical fibers were successfully drawn from germania doped silica rods prepared by sol-gel process. The fiber, drawn using rod-in-tube technique, had a 100 micron core with a pure silica cladding of 140 micron. The numerical aperture of the fiber was 0.21. Initial experimental results indicate an attenuation of 20 dB/km at 850 nm wavelength. Precursors used for sol preparation were tetraethyl orthosilicate, Si(OC2H5)4 and tetraethyl orthogermanate, Ge(OC2H5)4. Clear wet gels were routinely produced without any problem of premature precipitation of germanium dioxide even at high dopant concentration levels. The gels were dried by supercritical drying technique. Dry gels were consolidated to clear glass samples routinely at a temperature of 1300 degree(s)C. Fiber was drawn from these rods at a temperature of 1800 degree(s)C. The sintering parameters, i.e., type of gas flow at different steps of the sintering operation, duration of such steps and temperature were optimized to eliminate reboil of the glass above 1800 degree(s)C, resulting in bubble-free glass fibers.
S. Ray Chaudhuri,
"Optical fibers from sol-gel-derived germania-silica glasses", Proc. SPIE 1758, Sol-Gel Optics II, (7 December 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.132010; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.132010