Fugitive methane leak detection using mid-infrared hollow-core photonic crystal fiber containing ultrafast laser drilled side-holes

Jason Karp, William Challener, Matthias Kasten, Niloy Choudhury, Sabarni Palit, Gary Pickrell, Daniel Homa, Adam Floyd, Yujie Cheng, Fei Yu, Jonathan Knight

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

3 Citations (SciVal)


The increase in domestic natural gas production has brought attention to the environmental impacts of persistent gas leakages. The desire to identify fugitive gas emission, specifically for methane, presents new sensing challenges within the production and distribution supply chain. A spectroscopic gas sensing solution would ideally combine a long optical path length for high sensitivity and distributed detection over large areas. Specialty micro-structured fiber with a hollow core can exhibit a relatively low attenuation at mid-infrared wavelengths where methane has strong absorption lines. Methane diffusion into the hollow core is enabled by machining side-holes along the fiber length through ultrafast laser drilling methods. The complete system provides hundreds of meters of optical path for routing along well pads and pipelines while being interrogated by a single laser and detector. This work will present transmission and methane detection capabilities of mid-infrared photonic crystal fibers. Side-hole drilling techniques for methane diffusion will be highlighted as a means to convert hollow-core fibers into applicable gas sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFiber Optic Sensors and Applications XII
EditorsE. Udd, G. Pickrell, H. H. Du
ISBN (Print)9781510600935
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventFiber Optic Sensors and Applications XIII Conference - Baltimore, USA United States
Duration: 18 Apr 201621 Apr 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering


ConferenceFiber Optic Sensors and Applications XIII Conference
Country/TerritoryUSA United States


  • absorption spectroscopy
  • gas sensing
  • Hollow core fiber
  • micro-structured fiber


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