Polymer optical fibre (POF) is a relatively new and novel technology that presents an innovative approach for ultrasonic endoscopic applications. Currently, piezo electric transducers are the typical detectors of choice, albeit possessing a limited bandwidth due to their resonant nature and a sensitivity that decreases proportionally to their size. Optical fibres provide immunity from electromagnetic interference and POF in particular boasts more suitable physical characteristics than silica optical fibre. The most important of these are lower acoustic impedance, a reduced Young’s Modulus and a higher acoustic sensitivity than single-mode silica fibre at both 1 MHz and 10 MHz. POF therefore offers an interesting alternative to existing technology. Intrinsic fibre structures such as Bragg gratings and Fabry-Perot cavities may be inscribed into the fibre core using UV lasers. These gratings are a modulation of the refractive index of the fibre core and provide the advantages of high reflectivity, customisable bandwidth and point detection. We present a compact in fibre ultrasonic point detector based upon a POF Bragg grating (POFBG) sensor. We demonstrate that the detector is capable of leaving a laboratory environment by using connectorised fibre sensors and make a case for endoscopic ultrasonic detection through use of a mounting structure that better mimics the environment of an endoscopic probe. We measure the effects of water immersion upon POFBGs and analyse the ultrasonic response for 1, 5 and 10 MHz.
Christian Broadway, Daniel Gallego, Andreas Pospori, Michal Zubel, David J. Webb, Kate Sugden, Guillermo Carpintero, and Horacio Lamela, "A compact polymer optical fibre ultrasound detector," Proc. SPIE 9708, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2016, 970813 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 15, 2016; Published: 15 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212420.
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