Subsequently, a prototype was fabricated on a single mode optical fiber. Benzocyclobutene was chosen as the cavity medium as it undergoes a refractive index change upon exposure to UV. The refractive index change in BCB upon UV exposure was studied using a phase grating. Upon confirming that 2-hour exposure produced a change of 0.004, a self-aligned waveguide was written into the cavity. A consequent increase in Q-factor from 2500 to 5200 was seen for an 80 μm thick device.
Simulation studies indicate further improvement when incorporating dielectric Bragg mirrors instead of Gold, with Q-factors of 6400 and 10200 with and without the waveguide. Therefore, the proposed design includes Dielectric Bragg mirrors as well as a self-aligned waveguide.
The fabrication techniques being fairly controlled and automated, this device is highly suitable for mass-manufacturing, making is possible to produce as an inexpensive, disposable device. A potential application is to integrate it within a commercial guidewire to create a smart guidewire capable of detecting vascular vessel walls in order to guide interventions for Chronic Total Occlusions, reducing risk of wall perforation, which is currently an unmet clinical need.