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Special Issue "Optical Sensors based on Micro/Nanofibres"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Gilberto Brambilla
Website
Guest Editor
Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK
Interests: nanowire sensors, optical fibre sensors, physical sensors, resonating sensors
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Gerald Farrell
Website
Guest Editor
Photonic Research Centre, Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street, Dublin 8, Ireland
Interests: fibre optics; fibre optic sensors; tapered optical fibres
Prof. Dr. Pengfei Wang
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
College of Science, Harbin Engineering University, 145 Nantong Street, Harbin 150001, China/Photonic Research Centre, Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street, Dublin 8, Ireland
Interests: mid-infrared fiber lasers; fibre optic sensors; novel glass materials; multimode interferences; optical microfibre and nanowire related photonic devices; and integrated optics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last decade, optical microfibres and nanofibres have emerged as a promising platform that combines novel micro/nanotechnology and fiber optics to manipulate light at the micro/nanoscale. Micro- and nanofibres have quickly become promising photonic building blocks, capable of implementing compact and versatile photonic devices due to their characteristic features and unique properties, such as large evanescent field distribution at the micro/nanoscale, high sensitivity, extra-fast response to external environment variations, enhanced nonlinearity, easy of connectivity and the potential for three-dimensional assembly. Inspired by the significant potential of light guiding with very compact dimensions, research on tapered optical micro/nanofibres has attracted significant interest. Numerous investigations, ranging from theoretical design to simulations, from fabrication and optical characterization to practical exploitation across a large number of emerging photonic applications have been reported so far.

The aim of this Special Issue is to gather original research or review papers from researchers worldwide who are actively engaged in developing new ideas in this important area. In doing so, this Special Issue will serve to highlight the potential, exciting outcomes, progress, and innovations that micro and nano-fibres are capable of delivering in a wide range of applications areas.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical sensors (strain, refractive index, temperature, acceleration, gyroscopes, etc.)
  • Chemical sensors (liquid, solid or gas sensors, etc.)
  • Biosensors (lab-on-chip, diagnostics, disease biomarkers, etc.)
  • Tapered fibre for micromanipulations
  • Near-field optics
  • Nonlinear optics
  • Quantum optics
  • Plasmonics
  • Optomechanics
  • Atomic physics
  • Microresonators
  • Harsh environment sensing
  • Environment monitoring
  • Innovative applications

Prof. Dr. Gilberto Brambilla
Prof. Dr. Gerald Farrell
Prof. Dr. Pengfei Wang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Tapered optical fibres
  • Microfibre/nanowire based photonics devices
  • Evanescent sensing
  • Microresonators
  • Nonlinear optics
  • Atomic physics

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Investigating Water Movement Within and Near Wells Using Active Point Heating and Fiber Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 1023; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18041023 - 29 Mar 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
There are few methods to provide high-resolution in-situ characterization of flow in aquifers and reservoirs. We present a method that has the potential to quantify lateral and vertical (magnitude and direction) components of flow with spatial resolution of about one meter and temporal [...] Read more.
There are few methods to provide high-resolution in-situ characterization of flow in aquifers and reservoirs. We present a method that has the potential to quantify lateral and vertical (magnitude and direction) components of flow with spatial resolution of about one meter and temporal resolution of about one day. A fiber optic distributed temperature sensor is used with a novel heating system. Temperatures before heating may be used to evaluate background geothermal gradient and vertical profile of thermal diffusivity. The innovation presented is the use of variable energy application along the well, in this case concentrated heating at equally-spaced (2 m) localized areas (0.5 m). Relative to uniform warming this offers greater opportunity to estimate water movement, reduces required heating power, and increases practical length that can be heated. Numerical simulations are presented which illustrate expected behaviors. We estimate relative advection rates near the well using the times at which various locations diverge from a heating trajectory expected for pure conduction in the absence of advection. The concept is demonstrated in a grouted 600 m borehole with 300 heated patches, though evidence of vertical water movement was not seen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Sensors based on Micro/Nanofibres)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Optical Fiber Based Measurement System for the Verification of Entrance Dose Map in Pencil Beam Scanning Proton Beam
Sensors 2018, 18(1), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18010227 - 15 Jan 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
This study describes the development of a beam monitoring system for the verification of entrance dose map in pencil beam scanning (PBS) proton therapy based on fiber optic radiation sensors (FORS) and the validation of this system through a feasibility study. The beam [...] Read more.
This study describes the development of a beam monitoring system for the verification of entrance dose map in pencil beam scanning (PBS) proton therapy based on fiber optic radiation sensors (FORS) and the validation of this system through a feasibility study. The beam monitoring system consisted of 128 optical fibers optically coupled to photo-multiplier tubes. The performance of the beam monitoring system based on FORS was verified by comparing 2D dose maps of square-shaped fields of various sizes, which were obtained using conventional dosimeters such as MatriXX and EBT3 film, with those measured using FORS. The resulting full-width at half maximum and penumbra were compared for PBS proton beams, with a ≤2% difference between each value, indicating that measurements using the conventional dosimetric tool corresponded to measurements based on FORS. For irregularly-shaped fields, a comparison based on the gamma index between 2D dose maps obtained using MatriXX and EBT3 film and the 2D dose map measured by the FORS showed passing rates of 96.9 ± 1.3% and 96.2 ± 1.9%, respectively, confirming that FORS-based measurements for PBS proton therapy agreed well with those measured using the conventional dosimetric tools. These results demonstrate that the developed beam monitoring system based on FORS is good candidate for monitoring the entrance dose map in PBS proton therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Sensors based on Micro/Nanofibres)
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Open AccessArticle
Crack Propagation Calculations for Optical Fibers under Static Bending and Tensile Loads Using Continuum Damage Mechanics
Sensors 2017, 17(11), 2633; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17112633 - 15 Nov 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
Static fatigue behavior is the main failure mode of optical fibers applied in sensors. In this paper, a computational framework based on continuum damage mechanics (CDM) is presented to calculate the crack propagation process and failure time of optical fibers subjected to static [...] Read more.
Static fatigue behavior is the main failure mode of optical fibers applied in sensors. In this paper, a computational framework based on continuum damage mechanics (CDM) is presented to calculate the crack propagation process and failure time of optical fibers subjected to static bending and tensile loads. For this purpose, the static fatigue crack propagation in the glass core of the optical fiber is studied. Combining a finite element method (FEM), we use the continuum damage mechanics for the glass core to calculate the crack propagation path and corresponding failure time. In addition, three factors including bending radius, tensile force and optical fiber diameter are investigated to find their impacts on the crack propagation process and failure time of the optical fiber under concerned situations. Finally, experiments are conducted and the results verify the correctness of the simulation calculation. It is believed that the proposed method could give a straightforward description of the crack propagation path in the inner glass core. Additionally, the predicted crack propagation time of the optical fiber with different factors can provide effective suggestions for improving the long-term usage of optical fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Sensors based on Micro/Nanofibres)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Temperature Sensitivity of a Polymer-Overlaid Microfiber Mach-Zehnder Interferometer
Sensors 2017, 17(10), 2403; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17102403 - 21 Oct 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
The temperature sensitivity of the free spectral range (FSR) for a polymer-overlaid microfiber Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) is investigated both theoretically and experimentally. The waist diameter of the optical microfiber can be controlled to alter the thermal expansion and optic properties of the polymer-coated [...] Read more.
The temperature sensitivity of the free spectral range (FSR) for a polymer-overlaid microfiber Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) is investigated both theoretically and experimentally. The waist diameter of the optical microfiber can be controlled to alter the thermal expansion and optic properties of the polymer-coated MZI. Inserting an optical microfiber with a strong evanescent field into the MZI, a low index polymer with high thermal characteristics is deposited on the surface of the microfibers to realize a polymer-overlaid microfiber MZI. It was found that the thermal expansion factor in the proposed MZI plays an important role in the temperature sensitivity of the FSR. The temperature sensitivity of the polymer-overlaid microfiber MZI is improved, which is measured to be −8.29 nm/°C at 25 °C. The optical transmission spectrum of the polymer-overlaid microfiber MZI is converted to the spatial frequency spectrum via fast Fourier transform. The temperature sensitivity of the spatial frequency in the proposed polymer-overlaid MZI is estimated to be 18.31 pm−1 °C−1, which is 17 times higher than that of the microfiber MZI without polymer coating (1.04 pm−1 °C−1). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Sensors based on Micro/Nanofibres)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Optical Graphene Gas Sensors Based on Microfibers: A Review
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 941; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18040941 - 22 Mar 2018
Cited by 26
Abstract
Graphene has become a bridge across optoelectronics, mechanics, and bio-chemical sensing due to its unique photoelectric characteristics. Moreover, benefiting from its two-dimensional nature, this atomically thick film with full flexibility has been widely incorporated with optical waveguides such as fibers, realizing novel photonic [...] Read more.
Graphene has become a bridge across optoelectronics, mechanics, and bio-chemical sensing due to its unique photoelectric characteristics. Moreover, benefiting from its two-dimensional nature, this atomically thick film with full flexibility has been widely incorporated with optical waveguides such as fibers, realizing novel photonic devices including polarizers, lasers, and sensors. Among the graphene-based optical devices, sensor is one of the most important branch, especially for gas sensing, as rapid progress has been made in both sensing structures and devices in recent years. This article presents a comprehensive and systematic overview of graphene-based microfiber gas sensors regarding many aspects including sensing principles, properties, fabrication, interrogating and implementations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Sensors based on Micro/Nanofibres)
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Open AccessReview
A Review of Multimode Interference in Tapered Optical Fibers and Related Applications
Sensors 2018, 18(3), 858; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18030858 - 14 Mar 2018
Cited by 17
Abstract
In recent years, tapered optical fibers (TOFs) have attracted increasing interest and developed into a range of devices used in many practical applications ranging from optical communication, sensing to optical manipulation and high-Q resonators. Compared with conventional optical fibers, TOFs possess a range [...] Read more.
In recent years, tapered optical fibers (TOFs) have attracted increasing interest and developed into a range of devices used in many practical applications ranging from optical communication, sensing to optical manipulation and high-Q resonators. Compared with conventional optical fibers, TOFs possess a range of unique features, such as large evanescent field, strong optical confinement, mechanical flexibility and compactness. In this review, we critically summarize the multimode interference in TOFs and some of its applications with a focus on our research project undertaken at the Optoelectronics Research Centre of the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Sensors based on Micro/Nanofibres)
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Open AccessReview
Optical Microfiber Technology for Current, Temperature, Acceleration, Acoustic, Humidity and Ultraviolet Light Sensing
Sensors 2018, 18(1), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18010072 - 28 Dec 2017
Cited by 11
Abstract
Optical microfibers possess excellent optical and mechanical properties that have been exploited for sensing. We highlight the authors’ recent work in the areas of current, temperature, acceleration, acoustic, humidity and ultraviolet-light sensing based on this exquisite technology, and the advantages and challenges of [...] Read more.
Optical microfibers possess excellent optical and mechanical properties that have been exploited for sensing. We highlight the authors’ recent work in the areas of current, temperature, acceleration, acoustic, humidity and ultraviolet-light sensing based on this exquisite technology, and the advantages and challenges of using optical microfibers are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Sensors based on Micro/Nanofibres)
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Other

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Open AccessTutorial
Micro/Nanofibre Optical Sensors: Challenges and Prospects
Sensors 2018, 18(3), 903; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18030903 - 18 Mar 2018
Cited by 44
Abstract
Micro/nanofibres (MNFs) are optical fibres with diameters close to or below the vacuum wavelength of visible or near-infrared light. Due to its wavelength- or sub-wavelength scale diameter and relatively large index contrast between the core and cladding, an MNF can offer engineerable waveguiding [...] Read more.
Micro/nanofibres (MNFs) are optical fibres with diameters close to or below the vacuum wavelength of visible or near-infrared light. Due to its wavelength- or sub-wavelength scale diameter and relatively large index contrast between the core and cladding, an MNF can offer engineerable waveguiding properties including optical confinement, fractional evanescent fields and surface intensity, which is very attractive to optical sensing on the micro and nanometer scale. In particular, the waveguided low-loss tightly confined large fractional evanescent fields, enabled by atomic level surface roughness and extraordinary geometric and material uniformity in a glass MNF, is one of its most prominent merits in realizing optical sensing with high sensitivity and great versatility. Meanwhile, the mesoporous matrix and small diameter of a polymer MNF, make it an excellent host fibre for functional materials for fast-response optical sensing. In this tutorial, we first introduce the basics of MNF optics and MNF optical sensors, and review the progress and current status of this field. Then, we discuss challenges and prospects of MNF sensors to some extent, with several clues for future studies. Finally, we conclude with a brief outlook for MNF optical sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Sensors based on Micro/Nanofibres)
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