A fiber-optic degenerate four-wave mixing (D4WM) probe for the measurement of small absorptions in liquid-phase samples is described. Laser D4WM is a nonlinear laser spectroscopic technique that has proven to be highly sensitive for the detection of trace analytes in condensed-phase media. A significant improvement in the forward-scattering optical arrangement of D4WM is demonstrated by using optical fibers for both laser light input and output. There is considerable flexibility inherent in the design since the system may be used in three configurations: (1) the simplest case of transmitting the signal radiation by optical fiber to the detection electronics, (2) the case of guiding the excitation beams to the analyte by polarization-maintaining optical fibers, and (3) the combination of both. The optical fiber-based D4WM system is shown to be an effective and sensitive laser analytical spectroscopic method for trace analysis, offering advantages such as detection in very small probe volumes, remote and in situ analysis, and convenient and efficient optical alignment enhancements obtained by the use of optical fibers.
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