In the 21st century, cancer has become a common and feared illness. Early detection is crucial for delivering the most
effective treatment of patients, yet current diagnostic tests depend upon the skill of a consultant clinician and histologist
for recognition of the cancerous cells. Therefore it is necessary to develop a medical diagnostic system which can
analyze and image tissue instantly, removing the margin of human error and with the additional benefit of being
minimally invasive. The molecular fingerprint of biological tissue lies within the mid-infrared (IR) region of the
electromagnetic spectrum, 3-25μm wavelength. This can be used to determine a tissue spectral map and provide
information about the absence or existence of disease, potentially in real-time and in vivo. However, current mid-IR
broadband sources are not bright enough to achieve this. One alternative is to develop broadband, mid-IR,
supercontinuum generation (SCG). Chalcogenide glass optical fibers have the potential to provide such mid-IR SC light.
A popular chalcogenide glass fiber type is based on Ge-As-Se. For biomedical applications it is prudent to avoid the use
of arsenic, on account of its toxicity. This paper investigates replacing arsenic with antimony, towards Ge-Sb-Se smallcore
optical fibers for SCG. Physical properties of candidate glass pairs are investigated for glass stability via differential
thermal analysis etc. and fiber optical loss measurements of associated fibers are assessed. These results are compared to
analogous arsenic-containing chalcogenide glasses and optical fibers, and conclusions are drawn focusing on whether
there is potential for antimony chalcogenide glass to be used for SCG for mid-infrared medical diagnostics.