Abstract

A new method of analysis employing the time-dependent response of long-period-grating (LPG) fiber-optic sensors is introduced. The current kinetic approach allows analysis of the time-dependent wavelength shift of the sensor, in contrast to previous studies, in which the LPG sensing element has been operated in an equilibrium mode and modeled with Langmuir adsorption behavior. A detailed kinetic model presented is based on diffusion of the analyte through the outer protective membrane coating into the affinity coating, which is bound to the fiber cladding. A simpler phenomenological approach presented is based on measurement of the slope of the time-dependent response of the LPG sensor. We demonstrate the principles of the kinetic methods by employing a commercial Cu+2 sensor with a carboxymethylcellulose sensing element. The detailed mathematical model fits the time-dependent behavior well and provides a means of calibrating the concentration-dependent time response. In the current approach, copper concentrations below parts per 106 are reliably analyzed. The kinetic model allows early-time measurement for low concentrations of the analyte, where equilibration times are long. This kinetic model should be generally applicable to other affinity-coated LPG fiber-optic sensors.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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