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Luminescence Originating in an Optical Fiber

Volume 43, Number 1 (Jan. 1989) Page 176-178

Carroll, Mary K.; Bright, Frank V.; Hieftje, Gary M.

Recently, there has been considerable research into the development and applications of fiber-optic spectroscopic sensors. The large number of recent reviews attests to the widespread interest in this area. Fiber optics have several advantages over conventional optics; they can easily be miniaturized, and can be used at a remote distance from the laboratory and/or under harsh conditions. Our research group has been active in the area of fiber-optic chemical sensors. In the course of setting up an instrumental system for sensor research, we discovered some unusual luminescence behavior originating in the optical fiber itself. When a pulsed, high-energy, ultraviolet laser beam was coupled into a fused-silica fiber, the fiber was seen to glow a bright red color. The color was intense enough to be seen with the naked eye in a well-lit room, and appeared to be uniform along the length of the fiber. We proceeded to study this observed emission. This report summarizes our observations.