Facilities

The Studio has several laboratories, focusing on the development and characterization of special glasses for many different applications, including prisms, waveguides and microstructured optical fibres. Glasses such as heavy metal oxides, fluorides or chalcogenides, which are unavailable from the market, normally possess advantageous properties such as high linear/nonlinear indices, extended ultraviolet (UV) to mid-infrared (mid-IR) transmission, increased rare-earth ions doping concentration, etc. Such advantages bring novel properties to bulk materials and fibres, which have applications beyond the current limits of fused silica. The Studio is equipped with two induction furnaces, one resistance furnace with gas protection, and three annealing furnaces for glass melting. There is also a custom-designed extrusion machine, and now after two years of technical development we have a complete "die design/manufacturing and glass melting/preform extrusion" procedure for exotic waveguide structures. Most importantly, during the last year, we have built up extensive experience in using advanced 3D-printing techniques for extrusion dies, which gives huge flexibility for realising novel optical structures, well beyond the state-of-the-art. The glass studio also has glass cutting, grinding, polishing and etching facilities, as well as FTIR and  UV/Vis/NIR spectrometers and a prism coupler for the characterization of bulk materials.

Besides its own research activities (three on-going projects), the glass studio also provides a comprehensive service such as glass and fibre fabrication, melting and post-processing of bulk materials for optical components, for many groups within MPL and at external universities/institutes.