The impact of fictive temperature () on the evolution of point defects and optical attenuation in non-doped and -doped sol-gel silica glasses was studied and compared to Suprasil F300 and Infrasil 301 glasses before and after -irradiation. To this aim, sol-gel optical fiber preforms have been fabricated by the densification of erbium salt-soaked nanoporous silica xerogels through the polymeric sol-gel technique. These -irradiated fiber preforms have been characterized by FTIR, UV-vis-NIR absorption spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance, and photoluminescence measurements. We showed that a decrease in the glass fictive temperature leads to a decrease in the glass disorder and strained bonds. This mainly results in a lower defect generation rate and thus less radiation-induced attenuation in the UV–vis range. Furthermore, it was found that -radiation “hardness” is higher in -doped sol-gel silica compared to un-doped sol-gel silica and standard synthetic silica glasses. The present work demonstrates an effective strategy to improve the radiation resistance of optical fiber preforms and glasses through glass fictive temperature reduction.
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14 September 2016: A correction was made to the author listing.
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