Sol-gel glass forming techniques have been proposed for or used in optical component preparation for lightwave applications.1–4 A number of potential advantages make such processing attractive: glasses with purity as high as those prepared by vapor phase processing are attainable with very efficient raw material usage; a variety of highly homogeneous glass compositions as well as multicomponent glass devices are possible; lower temperature processing of silica-based glasses has been demonstrated; and there is the potential for a very low-cost manufacturing method for lightguides. This paper will review the basic sol-gel methods as well as report on the current status of such approaches.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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