Abstract

Plastic hollow fibers were made from plastic tubes covered on the internal wall with a metal layer (a-type) or a metal layer and dielectric layer on top of it (b-type). The CO2 laser energy transmission through the hollow fiber was measured as a function of the radius of curvature and the coupling lens (focal length at a constant fiber length). The yield of the transmission decreased in subtle curvatures (radius of curvature up to 100 cm) and remained almost constant as the curvature became sharper (down to radius of curvature of 13 cm). For the a-type fibers, the characteristics of attenuation depended on the focal length of the coupling lenses. The energy distribution at the output was measured and mapped. The experimental results showed that the maximum of the energy distribution is asymetrically positioned relative to the center and closer to the internal wall at a smaller bending radius. This was predicted in our previous theoretical calculation. The value of transmitted power attenuation was up to 1.4 dB/m. Maximum power at the output was 30 W, for a fiber of 50-cm length and a cross-sectional diameter of 1.9 mm. These types of hollow fiber have already been used in surgical experiments on dogs.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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