Liquid-core photonic crystal fiber platform for raman scattering measurements of microliter analyte solutions
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We have explored the use of index-guiding liquid-core photonic crystal fiber (LC-PCF) as a platform for sensing and measurements of analyte solutions of minute volume by normal and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). The index-guiding LC-PCF was fabricated by selectively sealing via fusion splicing the cladding air channels of a hollowcore PCF (HC-PCF) while leaving the center core open at both ends of the fiber. The center core of the resultant fiber was subsequently filled with water-ethanol solution mixtures at various ethanol concentrations for normal Raman scattering measurements and with water-thiocynate solutions containing Ag nanoparticle aggregates for SERS detection of thiocynate at trace concentrations. The light-guiding nature in the solution phase inside the LC-PCF allows direct and strong light-field overlap with the solution phase over the entire length of the PCF (∼30 cm). This detection scheme also dramatically reduces the contribution of silica to Raman spectral background, compared with the solid-core counterpart, thus its potential interference in spectral analysis. These features attribute to ready normal Raman measurements of water, ethanol, and water (99 vol.%)-ethanol (1 vol.%) solutions as well as sensitive and reproducible SERS detection of ∼10 ppb thiocynate in water, all at a volume of ∼0.1 μL.
author list (cited authors)
Han, Y., Oo, M. K., Zhu, Y., Sukhishvili, S., Xiao, L., Demokan, M. S., Jin, W., & Du, H.