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Problem Addressed

Optical fibers are an important area of study for remote chemical sensing applications. Current designs rely on employing optical fibers for collecting and transmitting an emissive signal at one end of the fiber to an optical detector at the other. Inherent to this approach are several limitations. First, both the remoteness and sensitivity of detection are restricted by the fiber’s numerical aperture (NA), its transmission and bending losses, and the sensitivity of the detector. While NA can be increased with hollow core photonic bandgap fibers and highly sensitive photodetectors can be implemented, the detection system is nonetheless limited so long as the fiber is used for waveguiding. Second, since light emitted only at the end facet, distributed sensing over large areas is inefficient.