There is an increasing demand for compact, reliable and versatile sensor concepts for pH-level monitoring within several industrial, chemical as well as bio-medical applications. Many pH sensors concepts have been proposed, however, there is still a need for improved sensor solutions with respect to reliability, durability and miniaturization but also for multiparameter sensing. Here we present a conceptual verification, which includes theoretical simulations as well as experimental evaluation of a fiber optic pH-sensor based on a bio-compatible pH sensitive material not previously used in this context. The fiber optic sensor is based on a Mach-Zehnder interferometric technique, where the pH sensitive material is coated on a short, typically 20-25 mm thin core fiber spliced between two standard single mode fibers. The working principle of the sensor is simulated by using COMSOL Multiphysics. The simulations are used as a guideline for the construction of the sensors that have been experimentally evaluated in different liquids with pH ranging from 1.95 to 11.89. The results are promising, showing the potential for the development of bio-compatible fiber optic pH sensor with short response time, high sensitivity and broad measurement range. The developed sensor concept can find future use in many medical- or bio-chemical applications as well as in environmental monitoring of large areas. Challenges encountered during the sensor development due to variation in the design parameters are discussed.
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