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  Chemical Sensors 2014, 4: 1
  Research Article
Sapphire photonic crystal fiber chemical sensing
  Neal Pfeiffenbergera, Gary Pickrella, Brian Scotta, Cheng Mab, Anbo Wangb  
a Department of Materials Science and Engineering, 309 Holden Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA
b Center for Photonics Technology, 460 Turner Street, Suite 303, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA

  There is much interest in single crystal sapphire optical fibers for use as optical sensors due to their ability to survive high temperatures and harsh chemical environments. Cladding helps to protect the fiber while limiting attenuation and confining the optical signal to the core. The development of cladding for single crystal sapphire fibers will allow for better pressure and temperature sensing in very corrosive environments compared to glass-based fibers which would typically not be able to survive. Currently, the use of single crystal sapphire fibers in high temperature harsh environment sensing applications is limited to a bare fiber surrounded by the environment that it will be sensing. This paper presents a sapphire photonic crystal fiber (PCF) acetylene gas sensor. The structure consists of six holes symmetrically arranged within the outer single crystal sapphire layer surrounding the solid single crystal sapphire core. The single crystal sapphire fiber produced was approximately 210 µm in diameter and 3.81 cm in length. This work represents the first time that a single crystal sapphire photonic crystal fiber has been used as a gas sensor and lays a framework for the progression towards high temperature harsh chemical environment sensing.
  Single-crystal; Sapphire; Multimode; Photonic crystal fiber; Acetylene sensing  

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