Gomółka G., Pysz D., Buczyński R., Nikodem M.
Hollow-core optical fibers have been used for laser gas sensing for almost two decades. However, to date, the vast majority of sensing systems have used hollow-core fiber only as a replacement for bulky gas cells (single- or multi-pass). Here, we investigate a reflective, dual-pass configuration in which light enters and exits hollow-core fiber from the same side. The advantage of this approach is the fact that the hollow-core fiber can be used not only as a cell but also as an endoscope-like probe, which does not need any additional tubing for sample delivery. In this article, we identify unwanted reflections from various fiber-to-fiber connections in the setup as the main challenge limiting the performance of the sensor in reflective configuration. We propose and experimentally demonstrate that the problem of reflections can be addressed using heterodyne-based detection, which allows for identifying and extracting useful signals in the radio frequency domain. Absorption and dispersion spectroscopy of methane are performed as a proof-of-concept with a detection limit of methane concentration below 10 ppm. Discussion insights into further development are provided, including strategies for miniaturization and detection limit improvement.
Journal of Lightwave Technology, 2023, vol. 41(18), pp. 6094 - 6101, doi: 10.1109/JLT.2023.3272308