Fernando C. Fávero Pontifícia Univ. Católica do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Valerio Pruneri Pontifícia Univ. Católica do Rio de Janeiro (Spain) Joel Villatoro ICFO - Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (Spain)
In this paper a simple photonic crystal fiber (PCF) interferometric breathing sensor is introduced. The interferometer consists of a section of PCF fusion spliced at the distal end of a standard telecommunications optical fiber. Two collapsed regions in the PCF caused by the splicing process allow the excitation and recombination of a core and a cladding PCF mode. As a result, the reflection spectrum of the device exhibits a sinusoidal interference pattern that instantly shifts when water molecules, present in exhaled air, are adsorbed on or desorbed from the PCF surface. The device can be used to monitor a person's breathing whatever the respiration rate. The device here proposed could be particularly important in applications where electronic sensors fail or are not recommended. It may also be useful in the evaluation of a person's health and even in the diagnosis and study of the progression of serious illnesses such as sleep apnea syndrome.