A fiber-optic sensor used to detect volatile organic compounds is described. The sensor consists of a single-mode D-fiber with a polydimethylsiloxane layer. The layer is applied to the fiber flat after removal of a section of the fiber's cladding to increase evanescent interaction of the light with the layer. Absorption of volatile organic compounds into the polymer alters the refractive index of the layer, resulting in a birefringent change of the fiber. This change is observed as a shift in polarization of the light carried by the fiber. The sensor has a short length of 3 cm and a response time of around 1 s. The sensor is naturally reversible and gives an exponential response for gas and liquid concentrations of dichloromethane and acetone, respectively.
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