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Proceedings Paper

Sol-gel nano-porous silica-titania thin films with liquid fill for optical interferometric sensors
Author(s): Andrew John Martin; Mino Green
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Paper Abstract

The production of thin films whose refractive index is measurand specific, for use in an interferometric fiber optic chemical sensor, is discussed. The problem of making such coatings has been tackled by a system we have termed the "guest-host" approach, in which an active liquid whose index varies with measurand, is contained within a porous glass host of fixed index. Suitable porous silica-titania glass films have been produced via the sol-gel process. The use of this system enables the index of the glass to be varied, so that the composite index of the liquid filled film can be tailored to that required by the optical system. The sol-gel method developed is based upon the hydrolysis and polymerisation of metal alkoxides, in an acidic aqueous/alcoholic solution. Thin film slab waveguides were deposited in order to measure the light scattering losses, which were found to be typically ''1dB/cm. The porosity of films was studied using a new technique developed in which water adsorption isotherms are plotted using ellipsometry. The pore size was found to be very small of pore diameter in the nanometer range, and the total porosity -1O%. Both of these factors were increased by the removal of residual organic material, using hydrogen peroxide. Finally the use of pH indicator dyes as a liquid fill is discussed, to produce a pH sensor.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 1990
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1328, Sol-Gel Optics, (1 November 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.22574
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew John Martin, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (United Kingdom)
Mino Green, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1328:
Sol-Gel Optics
John D. Mackenzie; Donald R. Ulrich, Editor(s)

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