Chalcogenide glasses are matchless materials as soon as mid, and even far, infrared technologies are concerned. Indeed they present transparency which extend from the UV to the far infrared depending of their composition. This exceptional transparency, associated with suitable viscosity/temperature dependence is a favorable context to seize the opportunity to develop innovative optical fibers, especially for mid-infrared sensing. Different families of optical fibers have been designed including tapered fibers, doped optical fibers, single mode fibers and microstructured fibers, depending on the targeted applications.
The most promising application for such devices is related to the mid-IR sensing. This spectral range cover the domain where are located the main IR signatures of molecules and biomolecules. Thus, thanks to selenide glass fibers, Fiber Evanescent Wave Spectroscopy have been carried out to get some fruitful information in biology and medicine for example for early stage diagnosis or food safety.
Alternatively, some special fibers have been prepared from rare earth doped selenide and sulfide glasses. These luminescent fibers, re-emitting light in the mid-infrared, were used to detect and monitor gaseous CO2. This work has been led in the frame a work program aiming at fighting against global warming by storing CO2 into geological underground sites.
The Darwin mission of the European Space Agency also offered an exciting frame to develop innovative fibers. The motivation is to detect exo planet on which sign of life are possible. To achieve this goal, a new family of glasses, exclusively based on tellurium, have been developed suitable for CO2 detection at and beyond 15 micrometers. Single mode fibers working beyond this spectral domain have been developed on purpose and characterized.
Bruno Bureau, Catherine Boussard, Virginie Nazabal, and Johann Troles, "Development of chalcogenide glass fibers for mid-IR technologies (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10536, Smart Photonic and Optoelectronic Integrated Circuits XX, 1053605 (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 29, 2018; Published: 14 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2288557.5751517234001.
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