UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Refractive index sensor based on etched D-fibres with wavelength adjustable operating point and resolution. Chandani, Sameer M.; Jaeger, Nicolas A. F.


Silica based fibre-optic refractive index sensors are gaining acceptance over conventional refractometers and finding applications in chemical/biological sensing due to many of their desirable properties. Here we present an optical fibre-based refractive index sensor that uses the power transmission through etched D-shaped fibres. The sensor's operating point and resolution can be tailored for a specific application by selecting the correct combination of the operating wavelength and the cladding thickness of the etched fibre. The sensor's power transmission depends on the surrounding refractive index in which the sensor head is immersed. The sensor presented has a maximum resolution on the order of 10-6 in its "high resolution" region and on the order of 10-4 in its "low resolution" region. The refractive index at which the maximum resolution occurs in the high resolution region can be shifted by ~0.012 and by ~0.027 in the low resolution region. To date, such high resolutions have been reported over narrow ranges and/or for fibre Bragg grating based sensors, which require optical spectral analysis which typically, is costly. Copyright 2007 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

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