[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 4, No. 5 (1997) 527-538]

Infrared Optical Fiber Sensors

Mitsunori SAITO and Katsuhiro KIKUCHI

Department of Electronics and Informatics, Ryukoku University, Seta, Otsu, 520-21 Japan

(Received April 1, 1997; Accepted June 9, 1997)

Notably improved performance as well as extended application areas is expected in the technology of optical fiber sensors using infrared fibers that transmit radiation in a wavelength range beyond 2 μm. Measurement of infrared radiation is particularly important in thermometry and spectrometry. In these areas, the use of infrared fibers has been studied extensively not only as a transmission waveguide but also as a sensor chip. Of various infrared fibers, fluoride glass fibers exhibit the lowest transmission loss and hence are useful for remote sensing that requires light transmission over a long distance. The wide transmission range of chalcogenide glass fibers and halide crystalline fibers is valuable for thermometry in a low temperature range and for spectrometry of various molecules. Hollow waveguides are useful as a capillary flow cell that realizes fast-response spectrometry. The advantages and disadvantages of infrared fibers must be considered carefully in the development of fiber sensors. In this paper, the progress of infrared optical fiber sensors is reviewed with particular interest in thermometry and spectroscopy.

Key words : infrared, optical fiber, hollow waveguide, optical sensor, remote sensing, thermometry, spectroscopy, chemical sensor