Abstract

The attenuation of incoherent infrared radiation for wavelengths from 6 to 20 μm was investigated for hollow sapphire and silica waveguides suitable for applications in spectroscopy and thermometry. A low-attenuation region was exhibited between 9.6 and 17.2 μm for hollow sapphire fibers and between 7.25 and 9.5 μm for hollow silica fibers as a result of the cladding index of refraction dipping below that of the air core (n ≈ 1). Losses have been characterized as a function of fiber diameter, launch conditions, and waveguide bend radius for cladding regions of both n > 1 and n < 1. In addition, the remote infrared sensing capability of the hollow waveguides was demonstrated by the detection of CO2 in N2 by utilizing hollow sapphire fibers capped with ZnSe windows.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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