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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 1 — Jan. 14, 2013
  • pp: 154–164

Microfiber Mach-Zehnder interferometer based on long period grating for sensing applications

Yanzhen Tan, Li-Peng Sun, Long Jin, Jie Li, and Bai-Ou Guan  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 1, pp. 154-164 (2013)

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A Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) composed by a pair of long period gratings (LPGs) fabricated in silica microfiber for sensing applications is demonstrated. Each LPG is fabricated with a pulsed CO2 laser by creating six periodical deformations along fiber length with only one scanning cycle. The length of the MZI can reach as short as 8.84 mm when the diameter of the microfiber is 9.5 μm. Compared with the ones fabricated in single-mode fibers, the present MZI is much shorter owing to the large effective-index difference between the fundamental and higher order modes. The microfiber MZI exhibits a sensitivity to surrounding refractive index (RI) of 2225 nm per refractive index unit and the temperature sensitivity of only 11.7 pm/°C. Theoretical analysis suggests that the performances of the MZI sensor can be improved by using thinner microfibers with a diameter down to 3.5 μm: The sensitivity can be greatly enhanced due to the stronger evanescent-field interaction and reduced dispersion factor; the transmission dips become narrower which benefits high-resolution measurement; the thinner fiber also allows further reduction in device length. The present device has great potential in biochemical and medical sensing due to the advantages including easy fabrication, excellent compactness and high sensitivity.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(050.2770) Diffraction and gratings : Gratings
(060.2370) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics sensors
(230.3990) Optical devices : Micro-optical devices

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: November 6, 2012
Revised Manuscript: December 11, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: December 12, 2012
Published: January 2, 2013

Virtual Issues
Vol. 8, Iss. 2 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Yanzhen Tan, Li-Peng Sun, Long Jin, Jie Li, and Bai-Ou Guan, "Microfiber Mach-Zehnder interferometer based on long period grating for sensing applications," Opt. Express 21, 154-164 (2013)

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