Abstract

Over the past 15 years, fiber-optic sensor technology evolved around components that were significantly larger than the wavelength of an optical source. Those restrictions imposed a size limit on a fiber-optic sensor and associated optical processing components. By reducing an optical component's dimensions to that of an optical wavelength, new devices can be envisioned. Recently, Brent E. Little from an MIT group under Prof. Haus’ leadership has proposed a new type of displacement readout sensor based on the combination of the Whispering Gallery Modes (WGMs) in a microsphere and a Mach-Zehnder (MZ) interferometer. This approach is an excellent candidate for a high-performance readout for a micromechanical sensor without the limits imposed by a current capacitive readout. Initial theoretical and experimental basis [1] shows that displacement resolutions on the order of 0.01 picometer can be achieved with available technology. For example, initial calculation shows that a micromechanical gyroscope readout limit below 0.01 deg/h is attainable with this type of readout. This paper introduces a new approach for a multiplexed sensor combining micromechanical and fiber-optic technology.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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References

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