Chalcogenide glasses are amorphous solid materials formed from chalcogen elements bonding with metals to form typically in binary or tertiary compounds. One family of chalcogenide glasses, based on gallium and lanthanum sulphides, possesses properties important for the infrared (IR) window transmissions and IR applications; these include thermal stability, high solubility of rare earth ions, low phonon energy and high laser damage threshold. Efforts have been made to produce new chalcogenide glasses that can extend the IR transmission window further into the IR. Work has led to the successful melting of a selenium-modified gallium lanthanum sulphide (GLS-Se) glass that can transmit up to 15 μm, however these glasses have, to date, only been demonstrated in bulk glass form. We aim to develop processes for the fabrication of chalcogenide optical fiber to exploit the properties of chalcogenide glasses. Several potential applications include sensing for the civil, medical, and military areas, as these materials offer transmission over much of the molecular fingerprint region (2 to 25 μm). The aim of our work is to understand and control the thermal properties and stability of GLS-Se glasses without compromising their optical properties, in order to produce transparent glass rods and demonstrate the feasibility in fabrication for structured optical preforms by extrusion, as the first step to achieve optical fiber from GLS-Se glass.
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