We report an all-polymer flexible piezoelectric fiber that uses both judiciously chosen geometry and advanced materials in order to enhance fiber piezoelectric response. The microstructured/nanostructured fiber features a soft hollow polycarbonate core surrounded with a spiral multilayer cladding consisting of alternating layers of piezoelectric nanocomposites (polyvinylidene enhanced with BaTiO3, PZT or CNT) and conductive polymer (carbon filled polyethylene). The conductive polymer layers serve as two electrodes and they also form two spatially offset electric connectors on the fiber surface designed for the ease of connectorization. Kilometer-long piezoelectric fibers of submilimeter diameters are thermally drawn from a macroscopic preform. The fibers exhibit high output voltage of up to 6V under moderate bending, and they show excellent mechanical and electrical durability in a cyclic bend-release test. The micron/nano-size multilayer structure enhances in-fiber poling efficiency thanks to the small distance between the conducting electrodes sandwiching the piezoelectric composite layers. Additionally, spiral structure greatly increases the active area of the piezoelectric composite, thus promoting higher voltage generation and resulting in 10-100 higher power generation efficiency over the existing piezoelectric cables. Finally, we weave the fabricated piezoelectric fibers into technical textiles and demonstrate their potential applications in power generation when used as a sound detector and a wearable textiles
We present a semi-analytical solution for the design of a high-speed rotary optical delay line that use a combination of two rotating curvilinear reflectors. We demonstrate that it is possible to design an infinite variety of the optical delay lines featuring linear dependence of the optical delay on the rotation angle. This is achieved via shape optimization of the rotating reflector surfaces. Moreover, a convenient spatial separation of the incoming and outgoing beams is possible. For the sake of example, we present blades that fit into a circle of 10cm diameter. Finally, a prototype of a rotary delay line is fabricated using CNC machining, and its optical properties are characterized.
We demonstrate detection of liquid analyte refractive index by using a hollow-core photonic Bragg fiber. We apply this fiber sensor to monitor concentrations of commercial cooling oil. The sensor operates on a spectral modality. Variation in the analyte refractive index modifies the bandgap guidance of a fiber, leading to spectral shifts in the fiber transmission spectrum. The sensitivity of the sensor to changes in the analyte refractive index filling in the fiber core is found to be 1460nm/Refractive index unit (RIU). By using the spectral modality and effective medium theory, we determine the concentrations of commercial fluid from the measured refractive indices with an accuracy of ~0.42%. The presented fiber sensor can be used for on-line monitoring of concentration of many industrial fluids and dilutions with sub-1%v accuracy.
Fabrication, characterization, and applications of a fast rotary linear optical delay line (FRLODL) for THz time-domain spectroscopy are presented. The FRLODL features two reflective surfaces with spatially separated incoming and outgoing beams. It has been manufactured using CNC machining. A linear dependence of the optical delay on the rotation angle allows a straightforward extraction of the conversion factor between the acquisition time (in ms) and the terahertz pulse time (in ps). The FRLODL has been tested using rotation speeds of up to 48 Hz, corresponding to an acquisition rate of up to 192 Hz with four blades incorporated on the same disk. At high speeds we observe a decrease of the bandwidth due to the limitations of the electronics, in particular, the transimpedance amplifier. An error analysis is performed by experimentally evaluating the signal-to-noise ratio and the dynamic range. With regard to the applications of the FRLODL, we first present observation of the evaporation of liquids, namely water, acetone and methanol. We then demonstrate monitoring of the spray painting process. Finally, detection of fast moving objects at 1 m/s and their thickness characterization are presented.