Hollow glass waveguides (HGWs) have been extensively investigated for the transmission of broadband, high-power radiation, particularly in the mid-infrared. One area of particular interest is the deposition of dielectric thin films within the hollow core of the HGW in order to reduce the losses at desired wavelengths. By implementing a thin film multilayer structure with high index mismatch between adjacent films, it is possible to dramatically improve the losses of the waveguides due to the thin film interference effect. Existing multilayer film research has utilized heavy metal halides, which although provide considerable index contrast, are toxic and unsuitable for clinical applications in which they are often used. Polymer dielectric thin films provide desirable optical properties for HGWs but are hindered by solvent compatibility in the deposition procedure. This work demonstrates implementation of a polymer multilayer dielectric thin film stack within a HGW, using ChemoursTM Teflon AF (n = 1.29) as the low-index material and polystyrene (n = 1.59) as the high-index material. These two polymers were deposited using liquid phase techniques within a HGW; the absorption spectra of waveguide as each layer was deposited on was analyzed in the mid-IR with an FTIR, and straight and bending losses were measured on a CO2 laser. Appreciable losses were realized with the addition of the second polymer film and the interference bands red-shifted with the second layer, suggesting the successful creation of the multilayer structure.
Wesley Kendall and James A. Harrington, "Multilayer polymer dielectric films for hollow glass waveguides," Proc. SPIE 10488, Optical Fibers and Sensors for Medical Diagnostics and Treatment Applications XVIII, 1048812 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2018; Published: 21 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2287441.
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