An infrared-transmitting chalcogenide fiber was used as an optical probe to analyze qualitatively and quantitatively various chemical substances in aqueous solutions. An unclad fiber with 380-μm diameter was combined with a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer to monitor the concentration of the analytes in solutions by measuring the changes in the absorbance of their fundamental vibration peaks. A linear relationship was observed between the absorption by the evanescent field and concentrations of various analytes. For this study low concentrations of acetone, ethyl alcohol, and sulfuric acid were detected in aqueous solutions. The minimum detection limit for these three chemical substances was 5, 3, and 2 vol. %, respectively, with a sensor length of 15 cm. It was also demonstrated that the same sensor design is capable of monitoring gaseous species such as dichlorodifluoromethane.
© 1991 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article