Bundled glass tubular fibers were fabricated by glass drawing technique for endoscopic infrared-thermal imaging. The bundle fibers were made of borosilicate glass and have a structure like a photonic crystal fiber having multiple hollow cores. Fabricated fibers have a length of 90 cm and each pixel sizes are less than 80 μm. By setting the thickness of glass wall to a quarter-wavelength optical thickness, light is confined in the air core as a leaky mode with a low loss owing to the interference effect of the thin glass wall and this type of hollow-core fibers is known as tube leaky fibers. The transmission losses of bundled fibers were firstly measured and it was found that bundled tube-leaky fibers have reasonably low transmission losses in spite of the small pixel size. Then thermal images were delivered by the bundled fibers combining with an InSb infrared camera. Considering applications with rigid endoscopes, an imaging system composed of a 30-cm long fiber bundle and a half-ball lens with a diameter of 2 mm was fabricated. By using this imaging system, a metal wire with a thickness of 200 μm was successfully observed and another test showed that the minimum detected temperature was 32.0 °C and the temperature resolution of the system was around 0.7 °C.
T. Kobayashi, T. Katagiri, and Y. Matsuura, "Fabrication of bundle-structured tube-leaky optical fibers for infrared thermal imaging," Proc. SPIE 10058, Optical Fibers and Sensors for Medical Diagnostics and Treatment Applications XVII, 100580X (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2017; Published: 28 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2249663.
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