An axicon fiber tip combined with a camera device is developed to sensitively detect refractive indexes in solutions. The transparent axicon tips were made by etching optical fibers through a wet end-etching method at room temperature. When the axicon fiber tip was immersed in various refractive index media, the angular spectrum of the emitted light from the axicon fiber tip was changed. Using a low numerical aperture lens to collect the directly transmitted light, a high intensity sensitivity was achieved when the tip cone angle was about 35 to 40 degrees. We combined the axicon fiber tip with a laser diode and a smartphone into a portable refractometer. The front camera of the smartphone was used to collect the light emitted from the axicon fiber tip. By analyzing the selected area of the captured images, the refractive index can be distinguished for various solutions. The refractive index sensitivity was up to 56,000%/RIU, and the detection limit was 1.79 × 10−5
RIU. By measuring the refractive index change via the axicon fiber tip, the concentration of different mediums can be sensitively detected. The detection limits of the measurement for sucrose solutions, saline solutions, and diluted wine were 8.86 × 10−3
°Bx, 0.12‰, and 0.35%, respectively.
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