A new type of multi-D-shaped optical fibers has been recently presented. They perform refractive index sensing. The novel optical fibers consist of several D-sections in a multimode fiber at localized areas with femtosecond fiber laser systems. Herewith, the maximum number of such sections in fiber optic systems can be 3-7 zones.
To be more precise, each section of optical fibers includes a fiber sensor volume of 100 μm depth, 250 μm width, and 1 mm length. These fiber systems have been already tested and demonstrated efficient mechanical strength of optical fibers to stand against the damage from further processing.
The multi-D-shaped fiber optic systems provide the accurate detection of changes in the surrounding refractive index. It should be noted that standard optical fibers include the plastic cladding, herein, the fiber core consists of a transparent, hard, brittle, and high bandgap material. Therefore, it is difficult to process it efficiently by long-pulsed laser systems.
Compared to conventional fiber optic systems, the operating principle of novel optical fibers is “based on attenuated total internal reflection via numerous internal reflections along with the fiber and the attenuated light intensity of the multi-D-shaped fiber changes linearly with a rise of the surrounding refractive index.”
Additionally, the fiber systems can detect light energy loss by determining the refractive index of the surrounding media. The researchers claim that this optical fiber solution is regarded as very potential and advantageous compared to traditional index sensing devices.
The novel optical fibers offer such advantages as low cost and small size. Moreover, they provide better resolution and remote control. The promising applications of novel fiber optic systems include such fields as chemical, biological, and biochemical sensing with aqueous solutions.
Finally, the production of multi-D-shaped optical fibers requires the application of conventional multimode communications step-index fiber. The sensing of transmitted light intensity promotes the realization of the fiber optic system. Herewith, it is possible to raise linearly the response of optical fibers by using sucrose solutions.
According to test results, the multi-D-shaped fiber systems demonstrate a great limiting resolution in the range of 1.333 to 1.403. Thus, these optical fibers can be employed as chemical or biological sensors thanks to their high level of sensitivity provided. Such benefits as simple design, small size, low cost, and ease of operation make these fiber optic systems very promising and efficient. Herewith, they are suitable for on-site, in vivo, and remote sensing.
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