The goal of the project is the development of an efficient and reliable hermetic coating technology to improve the resistance to corrosion and static fatigue of optical fibres. This will allow small radius bendings (a few centimetres), well adapted to spools for opto-electronic devices such as fibre optic sensors and delay lines, and suitable for fibre optic equipment interconnections.
During the development of an efficient and reliable coating technology to improve the resistance to static fatigue of optical fibres, the following progress has been made:
development of laser chemical vapour deposition (CVD) and plasma CVD equipment for coating moving optical fibres;
production of metallic coatings on static silica samples with laser CVD;
production of good quality carbon coatings on bare optical fibres with plasma CVD (compatible with inline drawing);
experimentation on coatings made on epoxy coated fibres which shows a significant increase in hermeticity by carbon coating;
realization on the drawing tower of an inline carbon coating with plasma CVD.
The tasks are:
-the set-up and evaluation of laser induced and plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (CVD) methods for the coating of optical fibres
-the analysis of the deposited layers (composition, adherence, uniformity, cohesion)
-the assessment of the improvement of mechanical properties and resistance to environment (corrosion, temperature ...) to be expected
-the selection and implementation of CVD methods for the coating of moving fibres
-the specification of a viable industrial process to be developed by the industrial partners.
The work programme comprises two 21 month-long phases. The phase 1 is a feasibility phase, for the evaluation of fibre coating by plasma and laser CVD methods. The phase 2 is a laboratory process implementation of the fabrication of coatings on moving samples.