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Micromachines 2016, 7(4), 61; doi:10.3390/mi7040061

Minimally Intrusive Optical Micro-Strain Sensing in Bulk Elastomer Using Embedded Fabry-Pérot Etalon

1
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
2
Department of Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hongrui Jiang
Received: 5 February 2016 / Revised: 29 March 2016 / Accepted: 4 April 2016 / Published: 6 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Photonic Devices and Systems)
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Abstract

A variety of strain sensors have been developed to measure internal deformations of elastomeric structures. Strain sensors measuring extremely small mechanical strain, however, have not yet been reported due mainly to the inherently intrusive integration of the sensor with the test structure. In this work, we report the development of a minimally intrusive, highly sensitive mechanical strain transducer realized by monolithically embedding a Fabry-Pérot (FP) etalon into a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) block test structure. Due to the extreme sensitivity of the FP resonance condition to the thickness of the spacer layer between the two reflectors, the limit of detection in the mechanical deformation can be as low as ~110 nm with a 632.8 nm laser used as the probing light. The compatibility of PDMS with additive fabrication turned out to be the most crucial enabling factor in the realization of the FP etalon-based strain transducer. View Full-Text
Keywords: minimally intrusive; strain sensing; etalon; PDMS; soft MEMS minimally intrusive; strain sensing; etalon; PDMS; soft MEMS
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Paek, J.; Li, Q.; Cho, I.H.; Kim, J. Minimally Intrusive Optical Micro-Strain Sensing in Bulk Elastomer Using Embedded Fabry-Pérot Etalon. Micromachines 2016, 7, 61.

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