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Behavior of Random Hole Optical Fibers under Gamma Ray Irradiation and Its Potential Use in Radiation Sensing Applications
Pickrell, Gary R.
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Effects of radiation on sensing and data transmission components are of greatinterest in many applications including homeland security, nuclear power generation, andmilitary. A new type of microstructured optical fiber (MOF) called the random hole opticalfiber (RHOF) has been recently developed. The RHOFs can be made in many differentforms by varying the core size and the size and extent of porosity in the cladding region.The fibers used in this study possessed an outer diameter of 110 _m and a core ofapproximately 20 _m. The fiber structure contains thousands of air holes surrounding thecore with sizes ranging from less than 100 nm to a few _m. We present the first study ofthe behavior of RHOF under gamma irradiation. We also propose, for the first time to ourknowledge, an ionizing radiation sensor system based on scintillation light from ascintillator phosphor embedded within a holey optical fiber structure. The RHOF radiationresponse was compared to normal single mode and multimode commercial fibers(germanium doped core, pure silica cladding) and to those of radiation resistant fibers (puresilica core with fluorine doped cladding fibers). The comparison was done by measuringradiation-induced absorption (RIA) in all fiber samples at the 1550 nm wavelength window(1545 25 nm). The study was carried out under a high-intensity gamma ray field from a 60Co source (with an exposure rate of 4x104 rad/hr) at an Oak Ridge National Laboratory gamma ray irradiation facility. Linear behavior, at dose values less than 106 rad, was observed in all fiber samples except in the pure silica core fluorine doped cladding fiber which showed RIA saturation at 0.01 dB. RHOF samples demonstrated low RIA (0.02 and 0.005 dB) compared to standard germanium doped core pure silica cladding (SMF and MMF) fibers. Results also showed the possibility of post-fabrication treatment to improve the radiation resistance of the RHOF fibers.