Exploring the room temperature self-assembly of silica nanoparticle layers on optical fibres

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 2013, 8793
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The room temperature deposition of self-assembling silica nanoparticles onto D-shaped optical fibres (D-fibre), drawn from milled preforms fabricated by modified chemical vapor deposition, is studied and preliminary results reported here. Of various techniques explored, an automated dip-and-withdraw approach is found to give the most reproducible layers. Vertical dip-and-withdraw produces tapered layers with one end thicker (surface coverage > 0.85) than the other whilst horizontal dip-and-withdraw produces much more uniform layers over the core region. The problem of induced fracturing is shown to originate from the sides of the D-fibre flat, attributed to an extended, linear coffee stain effect, and is greatest for horizontal dip-and-withdraw. Under optimal preparation conditions they can be minimised and prevented from extending over the core region. Alternatively, these structures can be made periodic potentially enabling some unique structures to be fabricated since post-deposition of functional species will be highest in these cracks. © 2013 SPIE.
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