Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Photos with descriptions from last week's lab

1. This photo shows the set up of the lab. There is a glass tube where the silicon will be deposited and it's sprayed on into the flame by the device in the middle with the knobs. The devise with the knobs moves to the right and left as the glass tube turns to ensure an even flow of the material

2. Notice the glass bottle on the hotplate on the floor - this is the silica solution that is getting pumped up and through the valves in a liquid form. When the fire is ignited - the solution changes its phase to a gas -- and gets deposited evenly on the glass tube.

3.This is the beginning stages of the experiment or test-- The silicon is mixed with oxygen which causes it to burn and deposit the soot onto the glass tubing. Another note -- notice the dark line in the center of the flame ; it was important to make sure that this was there but not too high up onto the tube. I think that this is a cold spot and you want to ensure that the hottest part is at the tube.

4.This is just a close up of the picture above to check out the flame

5. The silicon mixture was not turning into a gas fast enough so it was making air bubbles onto the surface of the glass tube. This would lead to an uneven surface and flaws in the glass later so the option was to make it hotter. Acetone was added to the mixture which caused the gas to be hotter and therefore changed phase faster. ( it also made the flame brighter -- check it out

6. Another image of the bright flame-- look at the tube - see how the silicon is depositing onto it?

7. This is the cooling stage -- temperatures are near or above 1000 degrees celsius while the experiment is going on so we have to wait for it to cool before it can be separated from the glass tubing.

8. The tube has cooled and it's measured before it gets separated.

9. It gets separated by slowly adding water around the tubing. when it is completely filled up, the tube is taken out of the water bath and the silicon slips right off.

10.It's now separated from the glass tubing and is weighed before sending it out to be shipped.

This silicon tube is now in NJ and will be super heated to that it can make pure silicon glass. This is the beginning of a fiber optic tube.

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