It has been recognized that typical Er-doped fibers can experience long-term loss increases and gain degradation due to hydrogen reactions that form OH in germanioaluminosilicate host glasses. 1.2 A worst-case analysis based on initial reaction rates has predicted substantial loss increases, and the use of hermetic coatings has been suggested to prevent hydrogen-induced-loss increases.' In this paper we analyze the OH growth kinetics in more detail and conclude that the observed kinetics for a typical nonhermetic fiber are in excellent agreement with a model in which there is a broad distribution of activation energies for the hydrogen reaction. Predicted losses are significantly lower than those from previous estimates.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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