„Development of reference gas cells using a hollow-core photonic crystal fiber for laser-based gas sensing systems”
(acronym: HollowCore)

Project supported by the National Science Centre, Poland under the „MINIATURA 1” programme

Total cost: 40 946,00 PLN
Centre Contribution: 40 946,00 PLN
Duration: 29/08/2017 – 28/08/2018

Principal Investigator: dr inż. Piotr Jaworski

The main aim of the project is the development of reference gas cells using hollow-core photonic crystal fibers (HC-PCF) and their application to laser-based gas sensing systems. One of the most important parameters of the sensing systems is their sensitivity which enables low-concentration gas detection. In order to improve it several techniques are used. One of the most common is to increase the interaction length between laser beam and gas molecules e.g. by using a multipass cell in the system. It indeed provides an improvement but in the same time makes the system configuration more complex which results in decreased long-term stability and lower versatility. We assume that the perfect solution to this problem is the use of HC-PCFs. As the fiber core is empty it can be easily filled with a gas, hence the HC-PCF can be used as a gas cell with a desired length. This should result in a significantly better sensitivity, stability and reduced complexity (bulk optics elements are not needed) of the gas sensing system in comparison with the aforementioned solution. To achieve this we plan to fill the HC-PCF with a target gas and fusion-splice both end of the fiber with conventional single-mode fibers (SMF-28). This will form the actual gas cell. Hence, we plan to develop a splicing process with the use of two- and three-electrode fiber splicing technologies in order to obtain low optical loss and robust connection between these fibers which will also allow maintaining single-mode transmission in the system. The developed gas cells will be tested in gas sensing systems using Wavelength Modulation Spectroscopy (WMS) and Chirped Laser Dispersion Spectroscopy (CLaDS) aimed on detection of methane and carbon dioxide.