Vol. 51, Issue 1, pp. 23-36
refractive index, thin film, side-polished fiber, lossy mode resonance, gallium-doped zinc oxide
This work presents a high-sensitivity refractive index and salinity sensor by using fiber-optic side-polishing and electron-beam evaporation techniques. Thin film coated on the flat surface of side-polished fibers can generate a lossy mode resonance (LMR) effect. A gallium-doped zinc oxide (GZO) thin film was prepared by an electron-beam evaporation with the ion assisted deposition method. The residual thickness of the side-polished fiber was 76.5 μm, and GZO film thickness of 69 nm was deposited on the flat surface of the side-polished fiber to fabricate LMR-based fiber sensors. The variation in the optical spectrum of LMR-based fiber sensors was measured by different refractive index saline solutions. The LMR wavelength shift is caused by the refractive index change, which is nearly proportional to the salinity. The corresponding sensitivity of the proposed fiber-optic sensor was 3059 nm/RIU (refractive index unit) for the refractive index range of 1.333 to 1.398. To evaluate the sensitivity of LMR salinity sensors, the saline solution salinities of 3.6%, 7.3%, 10.9%, 14.6%, 18.2% and 21.9% were measured in this work. The experimental result shows that the sensitivity of the proposed salinity sensor is 9.94 nm/%.