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Anal Chem. 2008 Jun 1;80(11):4220-4. doi: 10.1021/ac800417n. Epub 2008 May 7.

Long path-length axial absorption detection in photonic crystal fiber.

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National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


In this paper, we present a long path-length axial absorption detection method in photonic crystal fibers (PCFs). A PCF, also called a holey fiber or microstructured fiber, is an optical fiber which consists of a periodic array of very tiny and closely spaced air holes on the scale of 1 microm running through the whole length of the fiber. Here, a PCF with porous microstructures was used as a sample container for absorption detection. Light was guided by total internal reflection and propagated axially in the air holes of PCFs that were filled with the solution of the absorbing species by vacuum pumping. Excellent linearity was obtained for different sample concentrations, and high sensitivity was achieved due to the long optical path length. In addition, as the dimension of the PCF is small, the sample volume is greatly reduced. Moreover, due to its robustness, the PCF can be coiled up to keep the footprint small, making it suitable for microchip absorption detection. It can be widely used for both off-chip and on-chip detection of absorbing species, such as ions, alkaloids, and biomolecules.

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