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25 September 2013 Side illuminated optical fiber as a multiplexing element for spectroscopic systems
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A new type of colorimeter with multiple channels was demonstrated using a side illuminated optical fiber. When different spots of a properly modified fiber are side illuminated, multiple signals are generated and guided by the waveguide: the essence of multiplexing. This configuration is simple, low cost, does not require a sensitive coating and can analyze several samples along the fiber with a single detector: the most expensive component. Since regular colorimeters use one detector per sample, our new configuration considerably lowers the cost of analyzing multiple samples. This system consists of a fiber mounted over a support, three LEDs, an LED driver, a photo diode and a read-out: to increase the signal, the fiber was tapered. For calibration purposes, six solutions of different concentrations of food dye were prepared, placed inside cuvettes along the fiber length and illuminated by the LEDs. This light passes through the solution, strikes the fiber and is guided to the detector: the darker the solution the lower the signal intensity. Several calibration curves were obtained using different light intensities: it was found that the greater the intensity, the higher the colorimeter sensitivity. This simple capability can be used to easily control the device’s sensitivity and its resolution. Although built for three samples only, this device can be modified to accommodate more. With cuvettes measuring 1 cm, it is possible to accommodate one sample per cm of fiber. Also, with minor modifications, this colorimeter can be used for fluorescence, scattering and index of refraction measurements.
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Claudio Oliveira Egalon, Michael P. Matta, Delbert C. Lavezzari, Robert Y. Insley, Carolyn C. Jaring, and Marie Frances Quiday "Side illuminated optical fiber as a multiplexing element for spectroscopic systems", Proc. SPIE 8847, Photonic Fiber and Crystal Devices: Advances in Materials and Innovations in Device Applications VII, 88470I (25 September 2013);

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