Abstract

The development of an optical fiber refractometer by hydrogen fluoride etching and sputtering deposition of a thin-film of indium tin oxide on a single-mode-multimode-single-mode fiber structure has been analyzed with the aim of improving the sensitivity to the changes of the refractive index (RI) of the external medium. The device is sensitive to the RI changes of the surrounding medium, which can be monitored by tracking the spectral changes of an attenuation band or with a fast Fourier transform (FFT) analysis. By using an optical spectrum analyzer combined with a simple FFT measurement technique, the simultaneous real-time monitoring is achieved. The results show that the sensitivity depends on the thin-film thickness. A maximum of 1442 nm/RIU (refractive index unit) in the 1.32–1.35 RIU range has been attained. In addition, a theoretical analysis has been performed, where simulations matched with the experimental results. As a practical application of the developed optical fiber structure, a °Brix (°Bx) sensor has been implemented with a sensitivity of 2.13 nm/°Bx and 0.25 rad/°Bx respectively for wavelength and phase shift detection.

© 2017 IEEE

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