Clemson has made a major commitment to support the Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET), whose mission is to become a global leader for innovation and education in the science and technology of optical materials and optoelectronics, through research, teaching and the transfer and expansion of optical technologies to the private and public sector. COMSET is headquartered at the Advanced Materials Research Laboratory (AMRL), a $21 million state-of-the-art laboratory located at the Advanced Materials Center in Anderson, S.C.
In specific regards to optical fiber fabrication, COMSET operates an Optical Fiber Laboratory, which is the only academic facility in the United States with industry-grade capabilities for fabricating optical fiber. As is detailed below, the Optical Fiber Laboratory comprises an SG Controls MCVD lathe and Heathway Fiber Draw Tower along with a preform and fiber characterization laboratory. The draw tower, lathe and a staff of three on-site researchers with more than 40 years of cumulative industrial experience in the optical fiber industry uniquely position Clemson for defense-related basic research into optical fibers.
The Micro Fabrication Facility at Clemson University is located within The Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET) at the Advanced Materials Research Lab (AMRL) in Anderson, SC. This facility provides academic and industry researchers easy access to a complete microelectronic, optoelectronic & MEMS fabrication facility. Processing includes; cleaning wafers and photolithography to metal and oxide deposition as well as plasma etching, metrology and device singulation. Complete fabrication of microelectronic, micro-optic and MEMS devices can be accomplished at Clemson’s facility.
The SG Controls MCVD lathe has an extended bed with a motorized tailstock and double jaw chucks on both headstock and tailstock capable of securing glass preform stock up to 1.5 meters in length and 70 mm in diameter. The temperature of the preform is monitored with a tracking pyrometer that provides feedback for flow to a half-round hydrogen/oxygen torch with a nitrogen curtain capability, all of which is housed in a clean room enclosure with air flow control.
The lathe is interfaced through QNX software using a recipe-based control for all process variables. This allows for carriage speed, mass flow and tube temperature changes to be set or modified at any time during the process. Liquid precursors are delivered to one of four bubblers with individual oil bath control and isothermal heaters to maintain constant temperature. Additional gases are routed through a gas drier/purifier system using electro-polished stainless steel tubing. The lathe is plumbed for N2, O2, H2, Cl2, He, SF6, SiF4, Freon, BCl3, SiCl4, GeCl4, POCl3, and one spare liquid precursor.
Jobin Yvon Horiba – Fluorolog 3-222 – Tau 3 / TCSPC photoluminescence spectrophotometer
Perkin Elmer – Lambda 900 – UV/Vis/NIR Spectrometer
Photon Technology International Inc. (PTI) Fluorescence Master Systems – Quanta Master 60 – Flourometer