Glass was among the oldest man-made materials and has been a material used by mankind starting from the Bronze Age for making various kinds of bottles, mirrors, windows, vases, plaques, inlays, jewellery, etc. In ancient times, glass was considered a valuable commodity and was mainly used for decorative purposes to boost the power, status and political allegiances of the elite. Although the concept of glass lens was conceived in the first millennium (BC), it was not until the 19th century (AD) that glass was exploited exhaustively as an optical material (optical components to electric bulb). In the 20th century glass was given a different dimension altogether and was used in optical fibres, laser host materials, DVD s, displays etc. Mostly silica and silicate glasses were in the forefront from the beginning. However, in the last few decades, non-silicate glasses have been found to be useful in photonics application and few of them are more attractive than the conventional silica based glasses in many aspects; for example higher refractive index, extended IR transmission window and good rare-earth host, to mention a few. This book deals with non-conventional photonic glasses and also a relatively new category of materials in photonics named transparent glass-ceramics. Glass-ceramics are optical composite which not only have the flexibility of the glassy materials but also have the salient features of the crystalline materials. The book begins with industrially important non-silicate photonic glasses (fluoride, chalcogenide and tellurite) and then moves onto the photonic glass-ceramics with the transition being the thermally poled glasses. The book as a whole and each chapter in particular is structured to reflect the current advances in the field along with a reasonable review of each of the discussed glass and glass-ceramic materials. The authors are all experts in the relevant fields. Although this is a dynamic field which is continually advancing, the book will nevertheless help the readers to understand the fundamental concepts and essence of the subject. This book is intended as a research review and could be used by researchers and post graduate students as a starting point to learn the history/background of any of the research topic discussed in each chapter and its current state of the art.
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