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Study, analysis and experimental validation of fiber refractometers based on single-mode, multimode and photonic crystal fibers for refractive index measurements with application for the detection of methane

Haris Apriyanto 1
1 LAAS-OSE - Équipe Optoélectronique pour les Systèmes Embarqués
LAAS - Laboratoire d'analyse et d'architecture des systèmes
Abstract : Refractive index measurement has been studied since Ernest Abbé initially designed a refractometer in 1869, which is named the Abbé refractometer. Since then, numerous types of refractometers have been developed by employing either the optical prism-based refractometer or the optical fiber-based refractometer, due to their wide-ranging applications such as for sensing various physical, biological and chemical parameters. Recently, a large number of researchers have been developing refractometers based on optical fibers, exploiting mechanisms such as surface plasmon resonance (SPR), multimode interference, fiber Bragg gratings (FBG), long-period gratings (LPG), tapered optical fibers, and striped-cladding multimode fibers (MMFs), for their advantages in immunity against electromagnetic interference, electrical passivity at the sensing probe, and capability to long term in situ measurement. This thesis concerns the development of comprehensively functional and accurate models for optical fiber refractometers based on optical intensity modulation, in particular for stripped-cladding MMF refractometry as well as hybrid systems involving a combination of single-mode-multimode fiber refractometery and the all-fiber hybrid refractometer using photonic crystal fibers. A key objective of this work is to characterize the performance of these intensity-based optical fiber refractometers in terms of their power response, sensitivity, resolution, and dynamic range. The simulation results which are corroborated experimentally demonstrate very high sensitivity being obtained in Zone II (i.e. the sensing regime typically employed for measuring a sensing medium index higher than the cladding index but less than or equal to the core index) for all three types of refractometers. However, the sensitivity in Zone III (i.e. the sensing regime for which the sensing medium index is higher than the core index) is very low. A hybrid single-mode fiber - multimode fiber configuration is used to improve the sensitivity in Zone III. On other hand, the sensitivity for Zone I (i.e. the sensing regime typically employed for measuring a sensing medium index lower than the cladding index) has been improved by increasing evanescent wave absorption using the all-fiber hybrid refractometer based on solid-core photonic crystal fibers. As a further potential of the fiber refractometer for applications in biochemical sensing, the proof-of-concept for a methane gas sensor has been demonstrated using supramolecular cryptophane-A which enables to trap the methane molecules. Cryptophane-A incorporated into a functionalized film of Styrene-Acrylonitrile (SAN) host is applied to a de-cladded region of the sensor as the sensitive region. The refractive index of this functionalized layer increases proportionally with increasing methane concentration, subsequently inducing variations in the transmitted optical power along the fiber sensor.
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Haris Apriyanto. Study, analysis and experimental validation of fiber refractometers based on single-mode, multimode and photonic crystal fibers for refractive index measurements with application for the detection of methane. Optics / Photonic. Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse (INP Toulouse), 2019. English. ⟨tel-02088740v2⟩

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