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Invited Lecture
SnO2 - based Glass Ceramics for Photons Management
Maurizio Ferrari
National Research Council of Italy (CNR) Insutute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies (IFN)
Italy


Brief Bio
Maurizio Ferrari (Trento 25-06-1955) received the Doctor in Physics degree from Trento University, Italy,in a.y. 1979/1980. Until 1989, he worked as a Researcher with the Laboratoire LPCM, Lyon, France. He is currently Director of Research with the CNR-IFN. He is co-author of more than 500 publications in international journals and he is involved in numerous national and international projects concerning glass photonics. His bibliometric parameters are: h-index: 38 [09/08/2019 – WoS]; ResearcherID: H-3362-2011; Orcid ID: 0000-0003-3723-5957; Google Scholar: niSV8iIAAAAJ. MF was elected in 2013 SPIE Fellow for achievements in synthesis and characterization of rare-earth doped optical materials. MF was elected OSA Fellow in September 2017 for significant achievements in the spectroscopic characterization of glasses and glass-ceramics and their application to photonic structures and devices, as well as for actively serving the optical community. He has been member of several Scientific, Program and Steering Committees, and Chair of national and international conferences and workshops, member of evaluation committee at CNR and for other national and foreign research institutions, research director and jury member of several PhD theses. He is referee of several international scientific reviews in physics, photonics, and material science. MF is Editor of Optical Materials. He is AE of Optical Engineering for integrated optics, Editorial board member of Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, Ceramics, Journal of Materials, Ceramic International. His main scientific area of research is devoted to Glass Photonics and covers: properties, structure and processing of glasses, crystals and film for optical applications and photonics; energy transfer, optical and spectroscopic properties; integrated optics; nanocomposites materials and confined structures including photonic crystals, waveguides, microcavities, and microresonators.


Abstract
Glass-based rare-earth-activated optical structures are the cornerstone of several photonic applications covering Health and Biology, Structural Engineering, Environment Monitoring Systems and Quantum Technologies. Among different glass-based systems, a strategic place is assigned to transparent glass-ceramics, nanocomposite materials, which offer specific characteristics of capital importance in photonics. These two-phase materials are constituted by nanocrystals or nanoparticles dispersed in a glassy matrix. The key to make the spectroscopic properties of the glass-ceramics very attractive for photonic applications is to activate the nanocrystals by luminescent species as rare earth ions. SnO2-based glass-ceramics activated by rare earth ions have been extensively investigated because of the requirement to progress in reliable fabrication protocols and clarify some appealing structural, optical, and spectroscopic properties of the system. There is a very critical weakness in glass photonics when the rare earth ions are the active luminescent medium. The low absorption cross section of the electronic states of the rare earth ions is, in fact, the main downside. A sensitizer is therefore demanded. We have demonstrated that SiO2-SnO2 glass ceramics, presenting a strong absorption cross section in the UV range due to the SnO2 nanocrystal, are effective rare earth ions sensitizers. It is worth noting that the dynamic of the energy transfer from the nanocrystals to the rare earth ions is still an exciting open question to figure out. Another extremely useful property of the SiO2-SnO2 glass ceramic is its photorefractivity. The high photorefractivity of sol-gel-derived SnO2-SiO2 glass-ceramic waveguides has been demonstrated in several papers published by our consortium. It has been shown that the UV irradiation induces refractive index change allowing the direct writing of both channel waveguides and Bragg gratings. 
The results presented here not only demonstrate the outstanding properties and the extreme viability of the SiO2-SnO2 glass-ceramics for photonic applications but also put the basis for the fabrication of solid state and integrated lasers. The next steps of the research are the fabrication of the channels and mirrors exploiting the as well as to draw glass ceramic fiber, checking the lasing action and corresponding functional characteristics. 

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