Abstract

We describe a micromachined optical fiber current sensor. The sensing element consists of a squared silicon membrane (8 mm long and 20 µm thick) that has a cylindrical permanent magnet (NdFeB alloy, 3-mm diameter, 1.5 mm high) fixed on its central region. This structure allows the permanent magnet to vibrate in the presence of the magnetic field gradient generated by an ac. A linear relation between the electrical current and the magnet displacement was measured with white-light interferometry with an optical fiber low-finesse Fabry–Perot microcavity. A measurement range of 0–70 A and a minimum detectable intensity of 20 mA were obtained when distance D between the membrane and the electrical power line was 5 mm. The output signal directly shows a linear response with distance D.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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