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Sensors 2012, 12(3), 2983-2995; doi:10.3390/s120302983

Photonic Crystal Fiber Mach-Zehnder Interferometer for Refractive Index Sensing

1
Department of Construction Engineering, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Douliou 64002, Taiwan
2
Department of Physics, National Chung Cheng University, Chia-Yi 62102, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 January 2012 / Revised: 22 February 2012 / Accepted: 22 February 2012 / Published: 2 March 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

We report on a refractive index sensor using a photonic crystal fiber (PCF) interferometer which was realized by fusion splicing a short section of PCF (Blaze Photonics, LMA-10) between two standard single mode fibers. The fully collapsed air holes of the PCF at the spice regions allow the coupling of PCF core and cladding modes that makes a Mach-Zehnder interferometer. The transmission spectrum exhibits sinusoidal interference pattern which shifts differently when the cladding/core surface of the PCF is immersed with different RI of the surrounding medium. Experimental results using wavelength-shift interrogation for sensing different concentrations of sucrose solution show that a resolution of 1.62 × 104–8.88 × 104 RIU or 1.02 × 104–9.04 × 104 RIU (sensing length for 3.50 or 5.00 cm, respectively) was achieved for refractive indices in the range of 1.333 to 1.422, suggesting that the PCF interferometer are attractive for chemical, biological, biochemical sensing with aqueous solutions, as well as for civil engineering and environmental monitoring applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: photonic crystal fiber (PCF); interferometer; refractive index (RI); wavelength shift; fringe period; fringe visibility; sensitivity photonic crystal fiber (PCF); interferometer; refractive index (RI); wavelength shift; fringe period; fringe visibility; sensitivity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, J.-N.; Tang, J.-L. Photonic Crystal Fiber Mach-Zehnder Interferometer for Refractive Index Sensing. Sensors 2012, 12, 2983-2995.

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