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Silica glass for fiber optics applications may perform better when manufactured under high pressure, according to research from Penn State and AGC Inc. in Japan. Researchers demonstrated that doing so reduced signal loss in the material.
John C. Mauro, professor of materials science and engineering at Penn State, and his team used molecular simulations to evaluate the use of pressure when building optical fibers, showing that pressure quenching could reduce Rayleigh scattering loss by more than 50%. Rayleigh scattering occurs due to fluctuations in the glass’s atomic structure.
The voids (yellow) in silica glass become much smaller when the glass is quenched at higher pressures. Courtesy of Yongjian Yang, Penn State.