Air pollution remains one of the most serious environmental problems in modern society. That is why its location is highly important for future air treatment. Thus, a team of scientists from Switzerland has developed a special device for air pollution detection called a simple mid-infrared fiber laser source.
The principle of operation includes the pollution determination both in the air or molecules in someone’s breath. Also, the novel middle infrared fiber laser source allows detecting even greenhouse and other gases that can cause numerous dangerous respiratory and other diseases in people of every age.
Herewith, this fiber laser system has a more compact size of construction than it was before in other systems usually used for similar tasks. The size of such a fiber system is similar to a tiny suitcase consisting of two parts that are a conventional fiber laser and a photonic chip of a few millimeters across.
It should be mentioned that this is the mid-infrared spectrum that is very often required for scientific researches because the wavelength range enables to identify air pollutants and different particles that play a crucial role in the health of the environment and every person.
Nevertheless, it was very difficult to transport such infrared fiber laser systems because their construction includes complex, damage-prone hardware. At the present time, the problem has been solved due to the new laser technology developed by scientists.
The researchers use a commercially available fiber laser and join it to a micrometer waveguide chip. As a result, the combination allows generating light waves in the mid-infrared spectrum. In addition, the team improved the laser system by adding a spectrometer for the demonstration of the light resource ability to identify the presence and concentration of acetylene, a colorless and highly flammable gas.
The laser system operation is based on the compact and reliable fiber laser that creates light in a specific wavelength range. The laser beam is directed through a waveguide. Moreover, the researchers confirm that the fiber laser system or, to be precise, its light wavelength can be even tuned.
Also, it should be noted that this is the first time anyone has created a fully integrated spectroscopic fiber laser source. Therefore, precisely aligning all the components is not required now as it was in a traditional laser system before. This laser technology opens new possibilities for miniaturized mid-IR techniques that can find a potential application in numerous areas.
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