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3 May 2013 Exposed-core chalcogenide microstructured optical fibers for chemical sensing
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Chemical bonds of most of the molecules vibrate at a frequency corresponding to the near or mid infrared field. It is thus of a great interest to develop sensitive and portable devices for the detection of specific chemicals and biomolecules for various applications in health, the environment, national security and so on. Optical fibers define practical sensing tools. Chalcogenide glasses are known for their transparency in the infrared optical range and their ability to be drawn as fibers. They are consequently good candidates to be used in biological/chemical sensing. For that matter, in the past decade, chalcogenide glass fibers have been successfully implemented in evanescent wave spectroscopy experiments, for the detection of bio-chemical species in various fields of applications including microbiology and medicine, water pollution and CO2 detection. Different types of fiber can be used: single index fibers or microstructured fibers. Besides, in recent years a new configuration of microstructured fibers has been developed: microstructured exposed-core fibers. This design consists of an optical fiber with a suspended micron-scale core that is partially exposed to the external environment. This configuration has been chosen to elaborate, using the molding method, a chalcogenide fiber for chemical species detection. The sensitivity of this fiber to detect molecules such as propan-2-ol and acetone has been compared with those of single index fibers. Although evanescent wave absorption is inversely proportional to the fiber diameter, the result shows that an exposed-core fiber is much more sensitive than a single index fiber having a twice smaller external diameter.
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Johann Troles, Perrine Toupin, Laurent Brilland, Catherine Boussard-Plédel, Bruno Bureau, Shuo Cui, David Mechin, and Jean-Luc Adam "Exposed-core chalcogenide microstructured optical fibers for chemical sensing", Proc. SPIE 8775, Micro-structured and Specialty Optical Fibres II, 877503 (3 May 2013);

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