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19 December 1986 Transparent Microporous Silica Fibers by the Sol-Gel Process
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The sol-gel process is a chemical approach to making optical materials at low temperatures. Through hydrolysis and condensation reactions, a metal alkoxide such as tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) is converted largely to high surface area silica gel. The ratios of the components in the TEOS-water-alcohol solution determine the geometry of the gel preform. The preform may be a fiber, a supported thin film or a rigid monolithic shape. The bulk density of the preform is typically half that of conventional fused silica. In all cases, the microporosity is interconnected and the average pore size is generally smaller than 10 nm. Consequently, the material is transparent to visible light. In the case of fibers, an inexpensive plastic fiber can be used to establish the shape and diameter of the gel preform. Then the plastic can be sacrificed at a temperature below 600°C to leave behind a porous silica fiber. This type of fiber is being considered for light transmission over short distances.
© (1986) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
H. de Lambilly and L. C. Klein "Transparent Microporous Silica Fibers by the Sol-Gel Process", Proc. SPIE 0683, Infrared and Optical Transmitting Materials, (19 December 1986);

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