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Fabrication of a Fluorophore-Doped Cylindrical Waveguide Structure Using Elastomers for Visual Detection of Stress

1
Department of Engineering Science, Graduate School of Informatics and Engineering, The University of Electro-Communications, 1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Chofu, Tokyo 182-8585, Japan
2
Flexible Electronics Research Center (FLEC), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8565, Japan
3
Advanced Device Laboratory, RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
4
Materials Analysis Group, Kawasaki Technical Support Department, Local Independent Administrative Agency, Kanagawa Institute of industrial Science and TEChnology (KISTEC), Ground Floor East Wing, Innovation Center Building, KSP, 3-2-1 Sakado, Takatsu-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 213-0012, Japan
5
Photocatalysis International Research Center, Tokyo University of Science, 2641 Yamazaki, Noda, Chiba 278-8510, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Fibers 2019, 7(5), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib7050037
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 26 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Fibers for Next-Generation Flexible Technologies)
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Abstract

A fiber-optic strain sensor that can show strain via color change and which can be viewed using human eyes has demand in the civil engineering field for alerting purposes. A previous sensor was fabricated using PMMA (Poly(methyl methacrylate)), which had the exceeding hardness to exhibit satisfactory sensor performance. In this research, an elastomer-based fiber-optic structure was fabricated to enhance the elastic response of such sensors and to enlarge the waveguide cross section. Various organic fluorophores were added to the core and cladding regions of the elastic waveguide to induce energy flow from the core to the cladding when stress is applied to the waveguide. Elastomer pairs suitable for the core and cladding were selected from among several candidate materials having high transparency. A method of dispersing fluorophores to each host elastomer and constructing an excellent core–cladding interface using the selected materials was proposed. To investigate the time-dependent changes in the fluorescence of the doped elastomer waveguide, the absorption and emission spectra were monitored after the host elastomers were cured. View Full-Text
Keywords: elastomers; fluorophores; optical fibers; strain sensor elastomers; fluorophores; optical fibers; strain sensor
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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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Hirose, C.; Fukuda, N.; Sassa, T.; Ishibashi, K.; Ochiai, T.; Furukawa, R. Fabrication of a Fluorophore-Doped Cylindrical Waveguide Structure Using Elastomers for Visual Detection of Stress. Fibers 2019, 7, 37.

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