Mircostructured optical fibers have recently been considered as platforms for microfluidic devices for boimedical and manufacturing process control applications. More specifically they contribute to the sub-discipline of optofluidics were submicroliter volumes of fluids (i.e. liquids and gases) are manipulated in the micron sized channels inside of these fibers for enhanced optical detection. A special category of these fibers contain multiple cores that allow for interferometric measurement of high temperatures up to 1000°C. At low temperatures less than 50°C, coupling conditions between neighboring cores may be affected by transient external and internal thermal changes. Measurements of the coupling characteristics for a 3-core microstructured optical fibers are presented for temperatures up to 50°C. Multicore fibers with core separations of 2.5 μm and 5 μm were investigated. Typical inter-core coupling is governed by the separation distance of neighboring cores and conventional waveguide conditions. However, it was observed that the coupling conditions responded to thermal changes in the optical characteristics of the solid cores. Images of the mode field distribution were acquired for a range of temperatures during a 5 s period. The intensity was determined for temperatures between 25°C and 50.9°C. Significant time-dependent intercore-coupling instabilities were present for temperatures less than 22°C. The intensity of the coupled light varied according to microchannel air-flow rates of 1-2mm/s. The findings presented will be helpful in determining steady-state thermal conditions for microstructured optical fibers. Real-time and high speed sensing applications may benefit from the investigation of the coupling characteristics for temperatures less than 100°C.
Jacob Hisel, Gerald Wagner, Rosalind Wynne, and Fredericka Brown, "Measurements of multicore microstructured optical fibers heated up to 50 degrees Cecius," Proc. SPIE 10168, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2017, 101681G (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 28, 2017; Published: 12 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2258401.
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