We describe an innovative and scalable strategy of transforming a commercial unclad sapphire optical fiber to an allalumina nanostructured sapphire optical fiber (NSOF) that overcomes decades-long challenges faced in the field of sapphire fiber optics. The strategy entails fiber coating with metal Al followed by subsequent anodization to form anodized alumina oxide (AAO) cladding of highly organized pore channel structure. We show that Ag nanoparticles entrapped in AAO show excellent structural and morphological stability and less susceptibility to oxidation for potential high-temperature surface-enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS). We reveal, with aid of numerical simulations, that the AAO cladding greatly increases the evanescent-field overlap both in power and extent and that lower porosity of AAO results in higher evanescent-field overlap. This work has opened the door to new sapphire fiber-based sensor design and sensor architecture.
Hui Chen, Kai Liu, Yiwei Ma, Fei Tian, and Henry Du, "Nanostructured sapphire optical fiber for sensing in harsh environments," Proc. SPIE 10194, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications IX, 101941P (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 11, 2017; Published: 18 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2262675.
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