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 L.
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Han, Y., Oo, M. K., Zhu, Y., Sukhishvili, S., Xiao, L., Demokan, M. S., Jin, W., & Du, H.
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