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Open AccessArticle

Refractive Index Sensing with D-Shaped Plastic Optical Fibers for Chemical and Biochemical Applications

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Instituto de Telecomunicações, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
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CESAM, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
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I3N/FSCOSD, Department of Physics, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
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Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
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Department of Chemistry, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
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Department of Industrial and Information Engineering, Second University of Naples, 81031 Aversa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: W. Rudolf Seitz
Sensors 2016, 16(12), 2119; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16122119
Received: 17 October 2016 / Revised: 25 November 2016 / Accepted: 7 December 2016 / Published: 13 December 2016
We report the optimization of the length of a D-shaped plastic optical fiber (POF) sensor for refractive index (RI) sensing from a numerical and experimental point of view. The sensing principle is based on total internal reflection (TIR). POFs with 1 mm in diameter were embedded in grooves, realized in planar supports with different lengths, and polished to remove the cladding and part of the core. All D-shaped POF sensors were tested using aqueous medium with different refractive indices (from 1.332 to 1.471) through intensity-based configuration. Results showed two different responses. Considering the refractive index (RI) range (1.33–1.39), the sensitivity and the resolution of the sensor were strongly dependent on the sensing region length. The highest sensitivity (resolution of 6.48 × 10−3 refractive index units, RIU) was obtained with 6 cm sensing length. In the RI range (1.41–1.47), the length of the sensing region was not a critical aspect to obtain the best resolution. These results enable the application of this optical platform for chemical and biochemical evanescent field sensing. The sensor production procedure is very simple, fast, and low-cost. View Full-Text
Keywords: plastic optical fiber (POF); refractive index sensors; optical fiber sensors; remote sensing; chemical and biochemical sensing plastic optical fiber (POF); refractive index sensors; optical fiber sensors; remote sensing; chemical and biochemical sensing
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Sequeira, F.; Duarte, D.; Bilro, L.; Rudnitskaya, A.; Pesavento, M.; Zeni, L.; Cennamo, N. Refractive Index Sensing with D-Shaped Plastic Optical Fibers for Chemical and Biochemical Applications. Sensors 2016, 16, 2119.

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