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11 November 2014 Photonic crystal fiber refractive-index sensor based on multimode interferometry
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We report a type of multimode fiber interferometers (MMI) formed in photonic crystal fiber (PCF). To excite the cladding modes from the fundamental core mode of a PCF, a coupling point is formed. To form the coupling point, we used the method that is blowing compressed gas into the air-holes and discharging at one point, and the air-holes in this point will expand due to gas expansion in the discharge process. By placing two coupling points in series, a very simple all-fiber MMI can be implemented. The detailed fabrication process is that the one end of the PCF is tightly sealed by a short section of single mode fiber (SMF) spliced to the PCF. The other end of the PCF is sealed into a gas chamber and the opened air holes are pressurized. The PCF is then heated locally by the fusion splicer and the holes with higher gas pressure will expand locally where two bubbles formed. We tested the RI responses of fabricated sensors at room temperature by immersing the sensor into solutions with different NaCl concentration. Experimental results show that as refractive-index (RI) increases, the resonance wavelength of the MMI moves toward longer wavelengths. The sensitivity coefficients are estimated by the linear fitting line, which is 46nm/RIU, 154mn/RIU with the interferometer lengths (IL) of 3mm and 6mm. The interferometer with larger IL has higher RI sensitivity. The temperature cross-sensitivity of the sensor is also tested. The temperature sensitivity can be as low as -16.0pm/°C.
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Zhenfeng Gong, Xinpu Zhang, Yun Liu, Zigeng Liu, and Wei Peng "Photonic crystal fiber refractive-index sensor based on multimode interferometry", Proc. SPIE 9274, Advanced Sensor Systems and Applications VI, 92741B (11 November 2014);

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