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16 November 2010 Fiber sensors for molecular detection
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The demand on sensors for detecting chemical and biological agents is greater than ever before, including medical, environmental, food safety, military, and security applications. At present, most detection or sensing techniques tend to be either non-molecular specific, bulky, expensive, relatively inaccurate, or unable to provide real time data. Clearly, alternative sensing technologies are urgently needed. Recently, we have been working to develop a compact fiber optic surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) sensor system that integrates various novel ideas to achieve compactness, high sensitivity and consistency, molecular specificity, and automatic preliminary identification capabilities. The unique sensor architecture is expected to bring SERS sensors to practical applications due to a combination of 1) novel SERS substrates that provide the high sensitivity and consistency, molecular specificity, and applicability to a wide range of compounds; 2) a unique hollow core optical fiber probe with double SERS substrate structure that provides the compactness, reliability, low cost, and ease of sampling; and 3) an innovative matched spectral filter set that provides automatic preliminary molecule identification. In this paper, we will review the principle of operation and some of the important milestones of fiber SERS sensor development with emphasis on our recent work to integrate photonic crystal fiber SERS probes with a portable Raman spectrometer and to demonstrate a matched spectral filter for molecule identification.
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Claire Gu, Xuan Yang, Jin Zhang, Rebecca Newhouse, and Liangcai Cao "Fiber sensors for molecular detection", Proc. SPIE 7851, Information Optics and Optical Data Storage, 785105 (16 November 2010);

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