Abstract

An optical stress sensor is proposed by using a single crystal with both electro-optic and photoelastic effects. Different from previous crystal-based stress sensors, the proposed sensor is based on electro-optic compensation for stress-induced birefringence and does not need an additional quarter-wave plate or modulator, because the stress-sensing element is simultaneously used as an electro-optic compensator. Candidate sensing materials include electro-optic crystals of the 3m symmetry group and all glass with large Kerr coefficients. A primary experiment has demonstrated that the stress-induced birefringence in lithium niobate crystal can be compensated by its electro-optic birefringence. The proposed stress sensor is compact and low cost, and it is possible to achieve closed-loop stress measurement.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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