Whispering-gallery-mode (WGM) microresonators are used as optical transducers for sensing applications. The typical detection scheme is based on tracking the WGM resonance shift, by scanning with a tunable laser, when a change of the refractive index in the region probed by the WGM takes place. We propose a sensing approach based instead on monitoring the position of the laser line of a fiber ring laser having a WGM microsphere in its loop. We have demonstrated that the induced shift is the same for the ring laser line and for the microsphere resonance. The proposed method requires simpler, cheaper equipment and may also improve the sensor resolution because the ring laser line is much narrower than the microsphere WGM resonance.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
Lasers and Laser Optics
Original Manuscript: April 10, 2012
Revised Manuscript: May 11, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: May 15, 2012
Published: June 26, 2012
G. Nunzi Conti, S. Berneschi, A. Barucci, F. Cosi, S. Soria, and C. Trono, "Fiber ring laser for intracavity sensing using a whispering-gallery-mode resonator," Opt. Lett. 37, 2697-2699 (2012)