Glass - Back to the Future!

Presenting Author:
Rob Ireson

article posted 18 May 2016

Rob Ireson is responsible for coordinating the various Innovation projects and research within GTS. As well as undertaking developments for the main stream glass industry (e.g. for containers, flat glass, fibre), GTS Innovation work covers a wide range of activities including the development of customised glass materials and technologies for the following more novel applications for glass such as Photonics/lasers, Biomaterials, Additive Manufacturing of 3D objects, Extraction of oil & gas, Vitrification of nuclear waste. Rob is also responsible for developing and maintaining good relationships with external partners from industry and academia in order to identify and create opportunities to secure funding for new research projects, as well as to progress developments through to commercialisation.

Novel laser-glass materials: From lab to market

R Ireson*1, O McGann1, M Glendenning1, A Jha2
1 Glass Technology Services Ltd.
2 University of Leeds

Over the last 7 years Glass Technology Services (GTS) and the University of Leeds (UoL) have developed a range of novel glass materials for use in lasers based upon phosphate, germanate and tellurite glass systems. In order to achieve the required laser-performance, significant optimisation of the glass composition and tight control of the melting process is required.

Glass materials manufactured at GTS have shown good laser performance and GTS is now looking to commercialise a number of these glass materials. GTS and the UoL have recently launched a new manufacturing capability for these glasses in a spin out company VitriTech.

The development of a phosphate glass system for use as a laser-gain medium will be described, along with how the glass was developed and optimised to achieve the final performance required by the end-user both in terms of laser performance and mechanical compatibility with final device. An overview of the challenges faced will also be provided, along with how critical properties of the glass material were optimised in order to achieve the required performance of the glass material.

Finally the author will give an overview of new laser-developments in which GTS are currently involved.