Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, has proven to be a powerful elaboration method in materials science. Predominantly used for polymers, additive manufacturing has been extended then to metals, to ceramics and quite recently to glass. In this context, the Glass & Ceramics team from Rennes Institute of Chemical Sciences (ISCR) with the collaboration of Fresnel institute (university of Aix-Marseille) and Selenoptics company, report the first realization of an microstructured optical fiber drawn from a 3D-printed inorganic glass preform. For this proof of concept, a soft glass such as chalcogenide glass was chosen because of its well-known capability to be shaped at low temperature and its broad mid-IR transparency. Chalcogenide glasses generate a great deal of interest in science and industry, targeting novel applications, like new infrared light sources and civilian thermal imaging, and society-oriented needs in the fields of health and environment with infrared optical sensors.
This original additive manufacturing of soft glasses is a real breakthrough in the field of optical materials. As a versatile technique, 3D-printing opens new perspectives in optics through the elaboration of complex optical components, including microstructured optical fibers, that can hardly be obtained by traditional methods. In addition, because of the large interest, worldwide, for complex optical systems, this emerging technology could spread in all scientific communities where optical glasses, optical components, optical fibers, mid-IR photonics and sensors are of prior interest.
Johann Troles, Univ Rennes, CNRS, ISCR - UMR 6226, F-35000 Rennes, France
J. Carcreff, F. Cheviré, E. Galdo, R. Lebullenger, A. Gautier, J. L. Adam, D. L. Coq, L. Brilland, R. Chahal, G. Renversez, and J. Troles
"Mid-infrared hollow core fiber drawn from a 3D printed chalcogenide glass preform"
Optical Materials Express 11, 198-209 (2021) - https://doi.org/10.1364/OME.415090
Published Jan. 04, 2021