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Halogenide Crystalline IR Light Guide

#2100


Development of Halogenide Crystalline Optical Fibers, Bundles and Sensors for Infrared Range

Tech Area / Field

  • CHE-SYN/Basic and Synthetic Chemistry/Chemistry
  • MAT-SYN/Materials Synthesis and Processing/Materials
  • PHY-OPL/Optics and Lasers/Physics

Status
8 Project completed

Registration date
14.02.2001

Completion date
09.12.2005

Senior Project Manager
Lapidus O V

Leading Institute
VNIIKhT (Chemical Technology), Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of General Physics named after A.M. Prokhorov RAS / Natural Sciences Center, Russia, Moscow

Collaborators

  • InfraRed Associates,Inc., USA, FL, Stuart\nThe State University of New Jersey RUTGERS / Depertment of Ceramic & Materials Engineering, USA, New Jersey\nGenomics USA, USA, TX, Pearland\nCAL Photonics, UK, Edinburgh\nUniversität Ulm / Institut für Lasertechnologien in der /Medizin und Messtechnik, Germany, Ulm

Project summary

At present basic materials for fiber optics are optical fibers based on quartz and silicate glasses. However, the spectral transmission range of these fibers in the IR (infrared) spectral region is limited to 2-3m. Fluoride and chalcogenide fiber wave-guides possess a long wave transmission cut-off up to 6 and 10m, respectively. Optical fibers based on multi-component halogenide crystals are able to transmit information in a maximal broad spectral region (225m), which makes it possible to create new-generation multifunctional fiber optical devices and instruments. They exhibit advantages of remote detection, the potential to probe objects by a non-contact method, and they are explosion- and fireproof. Special information in near and medium IR region (2-25m) allows one to analyze the composition of gaseous and liquid media, to monitor and investigate chemical processes. Infrared radiation is caused by the temperature of heated objects and can be used to develop systems for temperature monitoring between 200-6000K. Halogenide wave guides are also promising for effective delivery of medium IR region high laser power (CO and CO2) in medical and technological installations.
Investigations into the extrusion procedure of silver halogenide crystals, conducted in 1995-2000 by NSC GPI and ARICT, resulted in the production of crystalline optical fibers with a two-layer structure, which achieved a level of optical losses of 0.4-0.8dB/m. The possibility of delivering 10 W CO2 laser power has been established.
Research is now aimed at development of multi-component halogenide optical fibers of various functional purpose – spectral, power and radiation-resistant wave-guides are of a high priority. Realization of this task is possible through the development of a preset fiber structure and the elimination of structural defects. New technological and constructional solutions are required for developing halogenide wave-guide technology, applicable in production and providing parameter reproducibility and high efficiency.
Practical realization of effective IR radiation transmission is possible only as a result of the design of optical fiber cable with low losses on the basis of such a wave-guide. Receiving-transmission cables of two types must be developed – for spectroscopy applications and for power laser installations. Development of optical fiber bundles containing a number of wave-guide cores facilitates the simultaneous reception (or transmission) of various types of information from several objects.
Development of several types of halogenide optical fibers, optical cables and wave guide bundles will make up the necessary elemental base for the creation of fiber sensors and fiber probes, which meet the requirements of different consumers.

The Project objective is to develop multi-component halogenide crystalline optical fibers, design, using these fibers as a base, multi-channel wave-guide bundles and optical cables for laser power delivery and spectral information, and develop fiber sensor and wave-guide probe prototypes for wide application in chemical production, medicine, instrument making and technology.

Material science and optical and physical investigations will be carried out in the course of the project to solve the following tasks:

A. Investigation of extrusion processes and development of basic technologies for production of halogenide crystals and optical fibers. Technologies should provide a preset structure (refractive index distribution profile), low optical losses, high efficiency and reduced specific consumption of materials.
B. Development of elemental base of halogenide IR fiber devices:

- infrared optical fibers of three functional types – wave guides for spectral application; power wave guides with gradient refractive index; radiation resistant wave guides;
- optical transmitting-receiving cables for laser installations and spectroscopic devices;
- fiber optical bundles to provide multi-channel delivery of IR radiation.

C. Development of fiber sensor prototypes implementing major advantages of halogenide IR wave guides, including:

- non-contact fiber sensors for temperature measurement and detecting fast response temperature variations in thermocontrol systems in one- and multi-channel versions.
Non-contact multi-channel detection facilitates monitoring of temperature leaps in system and components of power electronics and microelectronics;
- fiber spectral sensor for analyzing composition and monitoring, and study of physical and chemical processes in liquid and gaseous media, including continuous monitoring of liquid radioactive waste.
Complex radiochemical processes and chemical reactions take place in radwaste repositories. Since IR spectral region of 2-5m is the most informative for molecular analysis, it provides simultaneous remote measuring of concentrations of various chemical compounds in liquid radioactive waste and temperature with high spatial resolution and fast response;
- flexible IR fiber probe for spectral fiber system of early cancer diagnostics based on a variation of tissue molecular composition.
Cancer tumors appear as a result of changes in complex biochemical mechanisms of DNA structure under the effect of various factors. Optical information is delivered by wave-guide to IR spectrometer chamber and biotissue IR spectra are analyzed. Application of flexible IR fiber probes helps to avoid biopsy (mechanical section of tissue).


Experimental results and application


In the course of the Project research is aimed at production of halogenide IR fiber wave guides, optical cables and fiber bundles with low losses. The project team plan to study mechanisms of IR radiation selective losses in wave guides of various structure, processes of non-stationary distribution of continuous and impulse radiation through optical fibers and their radiation strength. Investigations of Fourier spectra of optical losses will help to make the best option of optical schemes and design solutions for fiber optic sensors and probes.

Realization of the Project makes it possible:

- to develop highly efficient basic technology for the production of halogenide optical fibers, ensuring reduction of optical losses up to 0.05-0.2 dB/m and to decrease production costs;
- to develop elemental base for fiber-optic devices, including various types of multi-functional IR wave guides, optical cables and fiber optic bundles (4-30 wave guides);
- to develop power IR wave guides and cables, transmitting more than 20-30W of unit capacity, for assembly of laser installations of medical and technological purposes and for flexible delivery of medical CO2-laser radiation;
- to develop a fiber sensor for composition analysis, control and investigations of physical and chemical processes in liquid and gaseous media. To create an optical fiber sensor prototype for continuous monitoring of liquid radwaste;
- to develop non-contact sensor for temperature control within 200-6000K (the most effective “black body” radiation within the 4-20m range). The scheme involves wave guide cable with optical output to MCT (HgCdTe) or PST (PbSnTe) detectors;
- to create a multi-channel fiber sensor prototype for non-contact detection of fast response temperature variations in thermocontrol systems with fast response of less than 1µsec, 10-100 times quicker than in IR imaging chambers;
- to develop flexible IR fiber probe for spectral fiber system for early cancer diagnostics.

Practical and Commercial Values of the Project involve the development of basic technology for the production of halogenide optical fibers, the creation of an elemental base for fiber lines of IR radiation reception and transmission and development of fiber optic temperature and spectral sensors on its basis, with properties ensuring their wide application in chemistry, electronics, medicine, for monitoring liquid radwaste, express analysis of food industry products, organic contaminants of aqueous media, combustible and lubricating materials, and liquid fuels.
The production cost of halogenide optical fibers will total 50-80DM/m, less than in the year 2000 (300-600DM/m), and it will promote IR wave-guide application.
Highly skilled experts in chemistry, technology and physics, who were previously engaged in nuclear weapons production (172 man/month) and scientists of the Russian Academy of Sciences (70 man/month) with experience in the Project subject, are to be involved in the Project.
Experts of ARICT, to be involved in the Project over several years, have conducted investigations on synthesis and analysis of high purity oxides, fluorides for nuclear technologies, and investigations on obtaining several types of materials for nuclear technology.
Experts from NSC GPI have been conducting studies on IR fiber materials since 1980, and they have accumulated considerable experience in laser technology, fiber optic devices and sensors. They have fabricated equipment to study wave guide optic properties, and have conducted investigations on the application of optical fibers in medicine and spectroscopy. Results of investigations have been repeatedly presented at international conferences and forums.
Participation in the Project of experts of different profiles from the above Institutes creates preconditions for its successful completion. The achieved scientific and technical experience provides the basis for realization of the Project.

The foreign partner's goals are:
information exchange and joint discussion of obtained results;
evaluation of technological decisions and correction of the work plan if necessary;
testing of optical fibers and sensors within the Project framework;
joint operation of equipment and devices for measuring optic fibers and sensor properties;
participation in issue of recommendations on commercial production and application of materials and sensors;
participation in joint symposiums and seminars.


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