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Solution doping

Minerals which may not be suitable for introducing in the gas-phase when fabricating fibers with vapor deposition, can be incorporated through solution doping. In this scheme, a porous frit of loosely deposited silica is laid around the inside of a substrate tube, controlling temperature and gas flows to condense the silica into light particles or flakes, sometimes known as soot; this frit is much like a snow-drift in texture, and very porous with lots of tiny open spaces. Alcohol solutions containing dissolved mineral salts, for example rare-earth metals, are washed over this frit, soaking into the porous structure. The alcohol is readily evaporated, leaving the salt evenly distributed through the lose spaces within the frit – which is then heated to fuse the loose particles into a solid glass layer with the rare-earth ions incorporated throughout.

 

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