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Supercontinuum radiation for applications in chemical sensing and microscopy

Kaminski CF, Watt RS, Elder AD, Frank JH, Hult J, "Supercontinuum radiation for applications in chemical sensing and microscopy" Applied Physics B 92:367-378 (2008), DOI:10.1007/s00340-008-3132-1 | pdf


The advent of compact, high brightness supercontinuum radiation sources employing solid core photonic crystal fibres is beginning to make an impact across the field of applied spectroscopy research. In this article we focus on the use of supercontinuum sources to construct novel instrumentation for chemical sensing. A brief overview is given on the mechanisms of supercontinuum generation in solid core photonic crystal fibres, and then we review recent, and present new, results from our own research. We present examples on gas phase sensing applications, permitting wide bandwidth molecular spectra to be gathered at ultrahigh speed. Furthermore we demonstrate the design and construction of a wide bandwidth microscope for wavelength flexible hyperspectral confocal imaging. We conclude with an outlook and a summary of where and how we think the field may develop over coming years.