Project Summary

Project Summary, including: specific innovation objectives and results, needs addressed, impact and potential benefits (up to 1 page)

The purposes of the proposal are the i) design, ii) modeling, iii) development, iv)prototyping of a) nano-structured layers with functional surfaces, b) interdependence between nano-structure and chemical-physical properties and c) ancient and recent thermal history and d) rest of related process parameters for a total new class of boro-phosphate nano-structured materials (nano-structured functional doped boro-phosphate glass) via chemical route, comprising sol-gel, coprecipitation and coacervate obtaining techniques together with new physical techniques, meaning femtosecond laser pulse deposition and treatment and radiofrequency magnetron sputtering. The vitreous matrix will comprise as network formers phosphorus and boron oxide, as modifiers and chemical durability increasers CaO or MgO together with ZnO. For the opto-electronic and magnetic properties small components as dopants will be added, comprising Fe2O3, V2O5, Bi2O3, 1d, 3d, 5d elements or/and rare earth. This complex nano-matrix composition is all new and original. The project proposes as a main research direction, the achievement of a new class of vitreous advanced nano-functional layers and multilayers, with complex magnetic and optical properties, by non-conventional methods. The new chemical and physical methods comparatively to the classical melting of glass have decisive advantages as: rigorous stoichiometric control, high purity of raw materials and of final nano-materials, fine adjusting of the composition in solution and after heat treatment, gain of new well-defined properties controlled by the process parameters, decreasing by hundred degrees of the thermal treatment temperatures, lack of the noxes releasing and high work security.

This proposed project makes an original connection between two domains of materials with special emphasis, boro-phosphate new nano-structured glasses and laser physics regarding functional thin films and nanostructured materials. For the first time we develop the solid film deposition for this new class of materials using laser and magnetic fields. These new nano-materials will be processed with pulse laser (high brightness and very short pulse laser) of 15 TW and the pulse duration of 20-25 fs, which have been recently acquired in INFLPR.

Phosphate and borate glasses are important materials as substrate because they can incorporate high amount of rare earth ions, making them ideal to host material for making compact high gain waveguide lasers and amplifiers for telecommunications window [1-3]. Phosphate glasses demonstrate changes to the glass structure after fs-laser writing that are not good for the fabrication of wave guiding devices. The present researches will focus on how boro-phosphate glasses, as well as specific composition of doped boro-phosphate glass will amplify and improve the properties of special structures induced by using focused femtosecond laser pulses. The project will study the fundamental relationships between the initial composition of boro-phosphate glasses and the structural changes associated with refractive index modification that could be resulting from fs-laser irradiation focusing the results on new prototypes of Faraday rotators and ultra-fast opto-magnetic switching devices design and manufacturing.