A cascaded symmetrical dual-taper Mach-Zehnder interferometer structure based on guided-mode and leaky-mode interference is proposed in this paper. Firstly, the interference spectrum characteristics of interferometer has been analyzed by the Finite Difference-Beam Propagation Method (FD-BPM). When the diameter of taper waist is 20 μm–30 μm, dual-taper length is 1 mm and taper distance is 4 cm–6 cm, the spectral contrast is higher, which is suitable for sensing. Secondly, experimental research on refractive index sensitivity is carried out. A refractive index sensitivity of 62.78 nm/RIU (refractive index unit) can achieved in the RI range of 1.3333–1.3792 (0%~25% NaCl solution), when the sensor structure parameters meet the following conditions: diameter of taper waist is 24 μm, dual-taper length is 837 μm and taper distance is 5.5 cm. The spectrum contrast is 0.8 and measurement resolution is 1.6 × 10−5
RIU. The simulation analysis is highly consistent with experimental results. Research shows that the sensor has promising application in low RI fields where high-precision measurement is required due to its high sensitivity and stability.
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