Abstract

An ultra-smooth $\text{TiO}_2$ thin film based optical humidity sensor was fabricated via a modified dip coating process. The $\text{TiO}_2$ film possessed a root mean square roughness of ${2.6 \pm 0.3}\;\text{nm}$. Measurement of relative humidity (RH) was performed by modulation in the intensity of laser transmitted at room temperature. The optical humidity sensor based on $\text{TiO}_2$ film exhibited two-segmented linearity in the whole RH range. The response time and recovery time were determined to be 27 s and 23 s, respectively. To our knowledge, the optical humidity sensor achieved the fastest recovery to date among those modulated in optical power. The fast response and recovery are attributed to the smooth surface of sensing film, which allows the rapid equilibrium between adsorption and desorption of water molecules on the film surface. In addition, this optical humidity sensor possessed an excellent reproducibility and long-term stability after aging. The sensing mechanism is based on the chemisorption of water molecules in the low RH range and formation of water droplets in the high RH range on the surface of ${\text{TiO}_2}$ film.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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