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18 June 2014 Exploration of higher-order mode coupling in long-period gratings for sensitive monitoring of polyelectrolyte self-assembly at nanoscale
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Abstract
Layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembly via hydrogen bonding is one of the primary mechanisms to achieve stimuliresponsive polyelectrolyte thin films for a variety of applications. The ability to monitor the individual LbL steps in situ is of great significance in the development and understanding of hydrogen-bonded LbL systems of new design functions and properties. Long-period gratings in single-mode fiber (SMF-LPG) has the potential for such application by virtue of its high index sensitivity. We report a theoretical and experimental investigation to sort out the coupled cladding mode that is most sensitive to molecular adsorption events during LbL deposition. We have undertaken a combined theoretical and experimental investigation to illustrate and demonstrate the strong correlation between the order of the coupled cladding modes in long-period gratings (LPG) in conventional single mode fiber and their sensitivity to the process of layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly of polyelectrolyte multi-layers. We show that high-order cladding modes such as LP0,10 in LPG are significantly more sensitive than their lower-order counterparts such as LP0,2, with LP0,10 yielding a shift of 1.575 nm in resonance wavelength per polyelectrolyte repeating unit of poly(vinyl pyrrolidone)/poly(methacrylic acid) bi-layer. We illustrate the potential utility of SMF-LPG integrated with stimuli-responsive LbL thin films as sensors. The integrated LPG/LbL strategy as a robust LbL test-bed has broad ramifications in exploring and exploiting sensors and devices enabled by versatile, stimuli-responsive polyelectrolyte thin films.
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Fei Tian, Jiri Kanka, Xiangzhi Li, and Henry Du "Exploration of higher-order mode coupling in long-period gratings for sensitive monitoring of polyelectrolyte self-assembly at nanoscale", Proc. SPIE 9098, Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications XI, 90980R (18 June 2014); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2053471
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