Smart Optical Materials by Sol-Gel Method
by R. Reisfeld
Dept. of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry , The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91904, Israel

Tunable Laser samples prepared by the sol-gel method 


The sol gel technology by which inorganic  or composite organic-inorganic materials are made at relatively low temperature, consists of hydrolysis of  the constituent molecular precursors and subsequent polycondensation to glass-like form. The technology allows incorporation of organic and inorganic additives during the process of formation of the glassy network at room temperature. 
Based on the sol gel process a large number of sophisticated materials have been prepared and studied and the corresponding theories elaborated. 
The first successful attempt to incorporate organic dyes and stabilize them within a sol-gel matrix started in 1984 together with  my colleagues David Avnir and David Levy. This was the beginning of number of  studies aiming to understand the fundamental mechanisms, improve the doped materials and develop successful applications in many industrial areas.

The new materials includes: 

Luminescent solar concentrators, 

Electrochromic, photochromic and gasochromic plates for smart windows that change their transparency according to solar irradiation, 

Sensors for environmental and biological impurities 

Solid lasers tunable in the visible spectral range 

Active waveguides, 

Quantum semiconductor dots, 

Materials for linear and nonlinear optics, 

Complexes of rare earth ions that can be used for diagnostics and biological markers.

In what follows we summarize the various aspects and findings of the materials prepared in our group. More in-depth analysis can be found at the original articles relative to each specific materials case. A list of the relevant references are given at the end of this article. 





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