Ultra-sensitive all-fibre photothermal spectroscopy with large dynamic range.
ABSTRACT: Photothermal interferometry is an ultra-sensitive spectroscopic means for trace chemical detection in gas- and liquid-phase materials. Previous photothermal interferometry systems used free-space optics and have limitations in efficiency of light-matter interaction, size and optical alignment, and integration into photonic circuits. Here we exploit photothermal-induced phase change in a gas-filled hollow-core photonic bandgap fibre, and demonstrate an all-fibre acetylene gas sensor with a noise equivalent concentration of 2?p.p.b. (2.3 × 10(-9)?cm(-1) in absorption coefficient) and an unprecedented dynamic range of nearly six orders of magnitude. The realization of photothermal interferometry with low-cost near infrared semiconductor lasers and fibre-based technology allows a class of optical sensors with compact size, ultra sensitivity and selectivity, applicability to harsh environment, and capability for remote and multiplexed multi-point detection and distributed sensing.
Project description:Gas detection with hollow-core photonic bandgap fibre (HC-PBF) and pulsed photothermal (PT) interferometry spectroscopy are studied theoretically and experimentally. A theoretical model is developed and used to compute the gas-absorption-induced temperature and phase modulation in a HC-PBF filled with low-concentration of C2H2 in nitrogen. The PT phase modulation dynamics for different pulse duration, peak power and energy of pump beam are numerically modelled, which are supported by the experimental results obtained around the P(9) absorption line of C2H2 at 1530.371?nm. Thermal conduction is identified as the main process responsible for the phase modulation dynamics. For a constant peak pump power level, the phase modulation is found to increase with pulse duration up to ~1.2??s, while it increases with decreasing pulse duration for a constant pulse energy. It is theoretically possible to achieve ppb level detection of C2H2 with ~1?m length HC-PBF and a pump beam with ~10?ns pulse duration and ~100?nJ pulse energy.
Project description:High-impact frequency comb applications that are critically dependent on precise pulse timing (i.e., repetition rate) have recently emerged and include the synchronization of X-ray free-electron lasers, photonic analogue-to-digital conversion and photonic radar systems. These applications have used attosecond-level timing jitter of free-running mode-locked lasers on a fast time scale within ~100??s. Maintaining attosecond-level absolute jitter over a significantly longer time scale can dramatically improve many high-precision comb applications. To date, ultrahigh quality-factor (Q) optical resonators have been used to achieve the highest-level repetition-rate stabilization of mode-locked lasers. However, ultrahigh-Q optical-resonator-based methods are often fragile, alignment sensitive and complex, which limits their widespread use. Here we demonstrate a fibre-delay line-based repetition-rate stabilization method that enables the all-fibre photonic generation of optical pulse trains with 980-as (20-fs) absolute r.m.s. timing jitter accumulated over 0.01?s (1?s). This simple approach is based on standard off-the-shelf fibre components and can therefore be readily used in various comb applications that require ultra-stable microwave frequency and attosecond optical timing.
Project description:Laser spectroscopy outperforms electrochemical and semiconductor gas sensors in selectivity and environmental survivability. However, the performance of the state-of-the-art laser sensors is still insufficient for many high precision applications. Here, we report mode-phase-difference photothermal spectroscopy with a dual-mode anti-resonant hollow-core optical fiber and demonstrate all-fiber gas (acetylene) detection down to ppt (parts-per-trillion) and?<1% instability over a period of 3?hours. An anti-resonant hollow-core fiber could be designed to transmit light signals over a broad wavelength range from visible to infrared, covering molecular absorption lines of many important gases. This would enable multi-component gas detection with a single sensing element and pave the way for ultra-precision gas sensing for medical, environmental and industrial applications.
Project description:Gas-filled hollow-core photonic crystal fibre is being used to generate ever wider supercontinuum spectra, in particular via dispersive wave emission in the deep and vacuum ultraviolet, with a multitude of applications. Dispersive waves are the result of nonlinear transfer of energy from a self-compressed soliton, a process that relies crucially on phase-matching. It was recently predicted that, in the strong-field regime, the additional transient anomalous dispersion introduced by gas ionization would allow phase-matched dispersive wave generation in the mid-infrared-something that is forbidden in the absence of free electrons. Here we report the experimental observation of such mid-infrared dispersive waves, embedded in a 4.7-octave-wide supercontinuum that uniquely reaches simultaneously to the vacuum ultraviolet, with up to 1.7?W of total average power.Dispersive wave emission in gas-filled hollow-core photonic crystal fibres has been possible in the visible and ultraviolet via the optical Kerr effect. Here, Köttig et al. demonstrate dispersive waves generated by an additional transient anomalous dispersion from gas ionization in the mid-infrared.
Project description:Propagation time through an optical fibre changes with the environment, e.g., a change in temperature alters the fibre length and its refractive index. These changes have negligible impact in many key fibre applications, e.g., telecommunications, however, they can be detrimental in many others. Examples are fibre-based interferometry (e.g., for precise measurement and sensing) and fibre-based transfer and distribution of accurate time and frequency. Here we show through two independent experiments that hollow-core photonic bandgap fibres have a significantly smaller sensitivity to temperature variations than traditional solid-core fibres. The 18 times improvement observed, over 3 times larger than previously reported, makes them the most environmentally insensitive fibre technology available and a promising candidate for many next-generation fibre systems applications that are sensitive to drifts in optical phase or absolute propagation delay.
Project description:Unlike photons, which are conveniently handled by mirrors and optical fibres without loss of coherence, atoms lose their coherence via atom-atom and atom-wall interactions. This decoherence of atoms deteriorates the performance of atomic clocks and magnetometers, and also hinders their miniaturization. Here we report a novel platform for precision spectroscopy. Ultracold strontium atoms inside a kagome-lattice hollow-core photonic crystal fibre are transversely confined by an optical lattice to prevent atoms from interacting with the fibre wall. By confining at most one atom in each lattice site, to avoid atom-atom interactions and Doppler effect, a 7.8-kHz-wide spectrum is observed for the (1)S0-(3)P1(m=0) transition. Atoms singly trapped in a magic lattice in hollow-core photonic crystal fibres improve the optical depth while preserving atomic coherence time.
Project description:Over the past few decades, there has been a considerable interest in the use of distributed optical fibre sensors (DOFS) for structural health monitoring of composite structures. In aerospace-related work, health monitoring of the adhesive joints of composites has become more significant, as they can suffer from cracking and delamination, which can have a significant impact on the integrity of the joint. In this paper, a swept-wavelength interferometry (SWI) based DOFS technique is used to monitor the fatigue in a flush step lap joint composite structure. The presented results will show the potential application of distributed optical fibre sensor for damage detection, as well as monitoring the fatigue crack growth along the bondline of a step lap joint composite structure. The results confirmed that a distributed optical fibre sensor is able to enhance the detection of localised damage in a structure.
Project description:Active manipulation of light in optical fibres has been extensively studied with great interest because of its compatibility with diverse fibre-optic systems. While graphene exhibits a strong electro-optic effect originating from its gapless Dirac-fermionic band structure, electric control of all-fibre graphene devices remains still highly challenging. Here we report electrically manipulable in-line graphene devices by integrating graphene-based field effect transistors on a side-polished fibre. Ion liquid used in the present work critically acts both as an efficient gating medium with wide electrochemical windows and transparent over-cladding facilitating light-matter interaction. Combined study of unique features in gate-variable electrical transport and optical transition at monolayer and randomly stacked multilayer graphene reveals that the device exhibits significant optical transmission change (>90%) with high efficiency-loss figure of merit. This subsequently modifies nonlinear saturable absorption characteristics of the device, enabling electrically tunable fibre laser at various operational regimes. The proposed device will open promising way for actively controlled optoelectronic and nonlinear photonic devices in all-fibre platform with greatly enhanced graphene-light interaction.
Project description:Optically levitated micro- and nanoparticles offer an ideal playground for investigating photon-phonon interactions over macroscopic distances. Here we report the observation of long-range optical binding of multiple levitated microparticles, mediated by intermodal scattering and interference inside the evacuated core of a hollow-core photonic crystal fibre (HC-PCF). Three polystyrene particles with a diameter of 1 µm are stably bound together with an inter-particle distance of ~40 μm, or 50 times longer than the wavelength of the trapping laser. The levitated bound-particle array can be translated to-and-fro over centimetre distances along the fibre. When evacuated to a gas pressure of 6 mbar, the collective mechanical modes of the bound-particle array are able to be observed. The measured inter-particle distance at equilibrium and mechanical eigenfrequencies are supported by a novel analytical formalism modelling the dynamics of the binding process. The HC-PCF system offers a unique platform for investigating the rich optomechanical dynamics of arrays of levitated particles in a well-isolated and protected environment.
Project description:Graphene, whose absorbance is approximately independent of wavelength, allows broadband light-matter interactions with ultrafast responses. The interband optical absorption of graphene can be saturated readily under strong excitation, thereby enabling scientists to exploit the photonic properties of graphene to realize ultrafast lasers. The evanescent field interaction scheme of the propagating light with graphene covered on a D-shaped fibre or microfibre has been employed extensively because of the nonblocking configuration. Obviously, most of the fibre surface is unused in these techniques. Here, we exploit a graphene-clad microfibre (GCM) saturable absorber in a mode-locked fibre laser for the generation of ultrafast pulses. The proposed all-surface technique can guarantee a higher efficiency of light-graphene interactions than the aforementioned techniques. Our GCM-based saturable absorber can generate ultrafast optical pulses within 1.5??m. This saturable absorber is compatible with current fibre lasers and has many merits such as low saturation intensities, ultrafast recovery times, and wide wavelength ranges. The proposed saturable absorber will pave the way for graphene-based wideband photonics.