We have implemented a new Raman fiber-optic probe design based on a hollow-core photonic-crystal excitation fiber surrounded by silica-core collection fibers. The photonic-crystal fiber offers low attenuation at the pump radiation wavelength, mechanical flexibility, high radiation stability, and low background noise. Because the excitation beam is transmitted through air inside the hollow-core fiber, silica Raman scattering is much reduced, improving the quality of the spectra obtained using probes of this design. Preliminary results show that the new probe design decreases the Raman background from the silica by approximately an order of magnitude compared to solid-core silica Raman probes.
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