Abstract

An optical structure for relative humidity (RH) sensing based on a polyimide-coated symmetrical metal-cladding waveguide is proposed. The diffusion of water molecules into the polyimide film leads to a combined change of thickness and refractive index. Due to the high sensitivity of ultrahigh-order modes, the interaction between water molecules and polyimide will give rise to a dramatic variation in the reflected light intensity. Our optical RH sensor exhibits a good linearity and a high RH resolution of approximately 0.16% for RH values ranging from 36% to 76%. In addition, it provides a short response time, a favorable stability over a long period, and a small degree of hysteresis.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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