Tapered ultra-high numerical aperture optical fiber tip for nitrogen vacancy ensembles based endoscope in a fluidic environment
Fixing a diamond containing a high density of Nitrogen-Vacancy (NV) center ensembles on the apex of a multimode optical fiber (MMF) extends the applications of NV-based endoscope sensors. Replacing the normal MMF with a tapered MMF (MMF-taper) has enhanced the fluorescence (FL) collection efficiency from the diamond and achieved a high spatial resolution NV-based endoscope. The MMF-taper's high FL collection efficiency is the direct result of multiple internal reflections in the tapered region caused by silica, which has a higher refractive index (RI) than the surrounding air. However, for applications involving fluidic environments whose RI is close to or higher than that of the silica, the MMF-taper loses its FL collection significantly. Here, to overcome this challenge and achieve a high spatial resolution NV-based endoscope in a fluidic environment, we conceptually proposed a tapered ultra-high numerical aperture microstructured optical fiber (MOF) whose air capillaries at the tapered end are sealed. Since the end-sealed air capillaries along the tapered MOF (MOF-taper) have isolated the MOF core from the surrounding medium, the core retains its high FL collection and NV excitation efficiency in liquids regardless of their RI values. Replacing the MMF-taper with the MOF-taper will achieve a versatile NV-based endoscope that could potentially find widespread applications in fluidic environments where many biological processes and chemical reactions occur.