28 September 1994 Effect of weakly and strongly ionizing radiation on the optical, infrared, and dielectric properties of porous sol-gel glasses
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Abstract
The effects of ionizing radiation on fiber optical materials and components can be quite dramatic and can adversely affect their transmission and loss in the optical and infrared. The effects of both weakly (gammas) and strongly (low energy protons) ionizing radiation exposure on the optical, infrared and dielectric properties of fully dense silica (quartz) and porous, alkoxide based sol-gel silica (aerogels) have been measured using transmission from the ultraviolet through the infrared (200-900 nm and 1.8-25 micrometers ), and complex dielectric properties from 45 MHz to 20 GHz. Aerogels are both disordered and complex and contain structural features (connected pore structure) whose size varies from a few angstroms to several microns. Both their structure and topology (large surface area) as well as intrinsic impurities (cation, hydroxyl and inhomogeneities) affect their optical, IR and dielectric properties. No change in UV, optical, IR or dielectric properties was observed for the porous sol- gel (aerogel) materials with radiation dose (up to 20 MRad gammas and 3 MRad 2 MeV protons). However, formation of color center absorbing defects in fully dense quartz was observed in the UV under small (0.25 MRad) gamma irradiation. It is postulated that sufficient OH radical impurity concentration mask or prevent significant color center formation in the aerogel materials. Also, the effects of moisture on the infrared and dielectric properties has been quantified. These results are contrasted with thermal annealing experiments.
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Ronald G. Pirich, Michael C. Stauber, Jerry DeCarlo, "Effect of weakly and strongly ionizing radiation on the optical, infrared, and dielectric properties of porous sol-gel glasses", Proc. SPIE 2290, Fiber Optic Materials and Components, (28 September 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.187424; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.187424
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