Abstract

A taper-based Mach–Zehnder interferometer (MZI) embedded in a thinned optical fiber is demonstrated as a highly sensitive refractive index (RI) sensor. A RI sensitivity of 2210.84nm/RIU (refractive index unit) is obtained at the external RI of 1.40, which is ten times higher than that of normal taper- and long-period fiber grating (LPFG)-based sensors. The sensitivity can be further improved by decreasing the diameter of the thinned fiber and increasing the interferometer length of the MZI. The proposed MZIs have lower temperature sensitivities compared with normal fiber sensors, which is a desirable merit for RI sensors to reduce the cross sensitivity caused by thermal drift.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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2011 (1)

2010 (8)

Y. Wang, M. Yang, D. N. Wang, S. Liu, and P. Lu, “Fiber in-line Mach–Zehnder interferometer fabricated by femtosecond laser micromachining for refractive index measurement with high sensitivity,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 27, 370–374 (2010).
[CrossRef]

X. Fang, C. R. Liao, and D. N. Wang, “Femtosecond laser fabricated fiber Bragg grating in microfiber for refractive index sensing,” Opt. Lett. 35, 1007–1009 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

B. Dong, L. Wei, and D. P. Zhou, “Coupling between the small-core-diameter dispersion compensation fiber and single-mode fiber and its applications in fiber lasers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 28, 1363–1367 (2010).
[CrossRef]

N. K. Chen and Z. Z. Feng, “Effect of gain-dependent phase shift for tunable abrupt-tapered Mach–Zehnder interferometers,” Opt. Lett. 35, 2109–2111 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. H. Lin, Z. H. Rao, L. Jiang, W. J. Tsai, P. H. Wu, and H. L. Tsai, “Investigations of femtosecond–nanosecond dual-beam laser ablation of dielectrics,” Opt. Lett. 35, 2490–2492 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

X. Z. Wang, Y. Li, and X. Y. Bao, “C- and L-band tunable fiber ring laser using a two-taper Mach–Zehnder interferometer filter,” Opt. Lett. 35, 3354–3356 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

N. Lin, L. Jiang, S. Wang, L. Yuan, H. Xiao, Y. Lu, and H. L. Tsai, “Ultrasensitive chemical sensors based on whispering gallery modes in a microsphere coated with zeolite,” Appl. Opt. 49, 6463–6471 (2010).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

L. Zhao, L. Jiang, S. Wang, H. Xiao, Y. Lu, and H. L. Tsai, “A high-quality Mach–Zehnder interferometer fiber sensor by femtosecond laser one-step processing,” Sensors 11, 54–61(2010).
[CrossRef]

2009 (6)

2008 (5)

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, J. Barnes, W. Bock, P. Greig, J. M. Fraser, H.-P. Loock, and R. D. Oleschuk, “Refractive index sensing with Mach–Zehnder interferometer based on concatenating two single-mode fiber tapers,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 626–628 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, and H. P. Loock, “Single-mode fiber refractive index sensor based on core-offset attenuators,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 1387–1389 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. Monzón-Hernández, V. P. Minkovich, J. Villatoro, M. P. Kreuzer, and G. Badenes, “Photonic crystal fiber microtaper supporting two selective higher-order modes with high sensitivity to gas molecules,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 081106(2008).
[CrossRef]

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, and H. P. Loock, “Refractive index sensor based on an abrupt taper Michelson interferometer in a single-mode fiber,” Opt. Lett. 33, 1105–1107 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. Zhang, X. Tang, J. Dong, T. Wei, and H. Xiao, “Zeolite thin film-coated long period fiber grating sensor for measuring trace chemical,” Opt. Express 16, 8317–8323 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2006 (1)

2005 (2)

X. Chen, K. Zhou, L. Zhang, and I. Bennion, “Simultaneous measurement of temperature and external refractive index by use of a hybrid grating in D fiber with enhanced sensitivity by HF etching,” Appl. Opt. 44, 178–182 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. F. Ding, A. P. Zhang, L. Y. Shao, J. H. Yan, and S. He, “Fiber-taper seeded long-period grating pair as a highly sensitive refractive-index sensor,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 1247–1249 (2005).
[CrossRef]

2004 (1)

A. Iadicicco, A. Cusano, A. Cutolo, R. Bernini, and M. Giordano, “Thinned fiber Bragg gratings as high sensitivity refractive index sensor,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 1149–1151 (2004).
[CrossRef]

2002 (1)

2000 (1)

K. S. Chiang, Y. Q. Liu, M. Nar Ng, and X. Y. Dong, “Analysis of etched long-period fiber grating and its response to external refractive index,” Electron. Lett. 36, 966–967 (2000).
[CrossRef]

1996 (1)

Badenes, G.

R. Jha, J. Villatoro, G. Badenes, and V. Pruneri, “Refractometry based on a photonic crystal fiber interferometer,” Opt. Lett. 34, 617–619 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. Monzón-Hernández, V. P. Minkovich, J. Villatoro, M. P. Kreuzer, and G. Badenes, “Photonic crystal fiber microtaper supporting two selective higher-order modes with high sensitivity to gas molecules,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 081106(2008).
[CrossRef]

Bao, X. Y.

Barnes, J.

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, J. Barnes, W. Bock, P. Greig, J. M. Fraser, H.-P. Loock, and R. D. Oleschuk, “Refractive index sensing with Mach–Zehnder interferometer based on concatenating two single-mode fiber tapers,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 626–628 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Bennion, I.

Bernini, R.

A. Iadicicco, A. Cusano, A. Cutolo, R. Bernini, and M. Giordano, “Thinned fiber Bragg gratings as high sensitivity refractive index sensor,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 1149–1151 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Bhatia, V.

Bock, W.

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, J. Barnes, W. Bock, P. Greig, J. M. Fraser, H.-P. Loock, and R. D. Oleschuk, “Refractive index sensing with Mach–Zehnder interferometer based on concatenating two single-mode fiber tapers,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 626–628 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Chai, Y. H.

C. H. Lin, L. Jiang, Y. H. Chai, H. Xiao, S. J. Chen, and H. L. Tsai, “Fabrication of microlens arrays in photosensitive glass by femtosecond laser direct writing,” Appl. Phys. A 97, 751–757 (2009).
[CrossRef]

C. H. Lin, L. Jiang, H. Xiao, Y. H. Chai, S. J. Chen, and H. L. Tsai, “Fabry–Perot interferometer embedded in a glass chip fabricated by femtosecond laser,” Opt. Lett. 34, 2408–2410(2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Chen, N. K.

Chen, Q.

P. Lu, L. Men, K. Sooley, and Q. Chen, “Tapered fiber Mach–Zehnder interferometer for simultaneous measurement of refractive index and temperature,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 94, 131110 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Chen, S. J.

C. H. Lin, L. Jiang, H. Xiao, Y. H. Chai, S. J. Chen, and H. L. Tsai, “Fabry–Perot interferometer embedded in a glass chip fabricated by femtosecond laser,” Opt. Lett. 34, 2408–2410(2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. H. Lin, L. Jiang, Y. H. Chai, H. Xiao, S. J. Chen, and H. L. Tsai, “Fabrication of microlens arrays in photosensitive glass by femtosecond laser direct writing,” Appl. Phys. A 97, 751–757 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Chen, X.

Chiang, K. S.

K. S. Chiang, Y. Q. Liu, M. Nar Ng, and X. Y. Dong, “Analysis of etched long-period fiber grating and its response to external refractive index,” Electron. Lett. 36, 966–967 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Cusano, A.

A. Iadicicco, A. Cusano, A. Cutolo, R. Bernini, and M. Giordano, “Thinned fiber Bragg gratings as high sensitivity refractive index sensor,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 1149–1151 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Cutolo, A.

A. Iadicicco, A. Cusano, A. Cutolo, R. Bernini, and M. Giordano, “Thinned fiber Bragg gratings as high sensitivity refractive index sensor,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 1149–1151 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Ding, J. F.

J. F. Ding, A. P. Zhang, L. Y. Shao, J. H. Yan, and S. He, “Fiber-taper seeded long-period grating pair as a highly sensitive refractive-index sensor,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 1247–1249 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Dong, B.

Dong, J.

Dong, X. Y.

K. S. Chiang, Y. Q. Liu, M. Nar Ng, and X. Y. Dong, “Analysis of etched long-period fiber grating and its response to external refractive index,” Electron. Lett. 36, 966–967 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Fang, X.

Feng, Z. Z.

Fraser, J. M.

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, J. Barnes, W. Bock, P. Greig, J. M. Fraser, H.-P. Loock, and R. D. Oleschuk, “Refractive index sensing with Mach–Zehnder interferometer based on concatenating two single-mode fiber tapers,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 626–628 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Giordano, M.

A. Iadicicco, A. Cusano, A. Cutolo, R. Bernini, and M. Giordano, “Thinned fiber Bragg gratings as high sensitivity refractive index sensor,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 1149–1151 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Greig, P.

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, J. Barnes, W. Bock, P. Greig, J. M. Fraser, H.-P. Loock, and R. D. Oleschuk, “Refractive index sensing with Mach–Zehnder interferometer based on concatenating two single-mode fiber tapers,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 626–628 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Gu, B. B.

He, S.

B. B. Gu, M. J. Yin, A. P. Zhang, J. W. Qian, and S. He, “Low-cost high-performance fiber-optic pH sensor based on thin-core fiber modal interferometer,” Opt. Express 17, 22296–22302 (2009).
[CrossRef]

J. F. Ding, A. P. Zhang, L. Y. Shao, J. H. Yan, and S. He, “Fiber-taper seeded long-period grating pair as a highly sensitive refractive-index sensor,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 1247–1249 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Hong, W.

Iadicicco, A.

A. Iadicicco, A. Cusano, A. Cutolo, R. Bernini, and M. Giordano, “Thinned fiber Bragg gratings as high sensitivity refractive index sensor,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 1149–1151 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Jha, R.

Jiang, L.

Jin, W.

Kreuzer, M. P.

D. Monzón-Hernández, V. P. Minkovich, J. Villatoro, M. P. Kreuzer, and G. Badenes, “Photonic crystal fiber microtaper supporting two selective higher-order modes with high sensitivity to gas molecules,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 081106(2008).
[CrossRef]

Li, Y.

Liao, C. R.

Lin, C. H.

Lin, N.

Liu, S.

Liu, Y. Q.

K. S. Chiang, Y. Q. Liu, M. Nar Ng, and X. Y. Dong, “Analysis of etched long-period fiber grating and its response to external refractive index,” Electron. Lett. 36, 966–967 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Loock, H. P.

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, and H. P. Loock, “Single-mode fiber refractive index sensor based on core-offset attenuators,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 1387–1389 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, and H. P. Loock, “Refractive index sensor based on an abrupt taper Michelson interferometer in a single-mode fiber,” Opt. Lett. 33, 1105–1107 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Loock, H.-P.

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, J. Barnes, W. Bock, P. Greig, J. M. Fraser, H.-P. Loock, and R. D. Oleschuk, “Refractive index sensing with Mach–Zehnder interferometer based on concatenating two single-mode fiber tapers,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 626–628 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Lu, P.

Lu, Y.

Men, L.

P. Lu, L. Men, K. Sooley, and Q. Chen, “Tapered fiber Mach–Zehnder interferometer for simultaneous measurement of refractive index and temperature,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 94, 131110 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Minkovich, V. P.

D. Monzón-Hernández, V. P. Minkovich, J. Villatoro, M. P. Kreuzer, and G. Badenes, “Photonic crystal fiber microtaper supporting two selective higher-order modes with high sensitivity to gas molecules,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 081106(2008).
[CrossRef]

Monzón-Hernández, D.

D. Monzón-Hernández, V. P. Minkovich, J. Villatoro, M. P. Kreuzer, and G. Badenes, “Photonic crystal fiber microtaper supporting two selective higher-order modes with high sensitivity to gas molecules,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 081106(2008).
[CrossRef]

Nar Ng, M.

K. S. Chiang, Y. Q. Liu, M. Nar Ng, and X. Y. Dong, “Analysis of etched long-period fiber grating and its response to external refractive index,” Electron. Lett. 36, 966–967 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Oleschuk, R. D.

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, J. Barnes, W. Bock, P. Greig, J. M. Fraser, H.-P. Loock, and R. D. Oleschuk, “Refractive index sensing with Mach–Zehnder interferometer based on concatenating two single-mode fiber tapers,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 626–628 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Pruneri, V.

Qian, J. W.

Rao, Z. H.

Shao, L. Y.

J. F. Ding, A. P. Zhang, L. Y. Shao, J. H. Yan, and S. He, “Fiber-taper seeded long-period grating pair as a highly sensitive refractive-index sensor,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 1247–1249 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Shu, X.

Sooley, K.

P. Lu, L. Men, K. Sooley, and Q. Chen, “Tapered fiber Mach–Zehnder interferometer for simultaneous measurement of refractive index and temperature,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 94, 131110 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Tang, X.

Tian, Z. B.

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, J. Barnes, W. Bock, P. Greig, J. M. Fraser, H.-P. Loock, and R. D. Oleschuk, “Refractive index sensing with Mach–Zehnder interferometer based on concatenating two single-mode fiber tapers,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 626–628 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, and H. P. Loock, “Single-mode fiber refractive index sensor based on core-offset attenuators,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 1387–1389 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, and H. P. Loock, “Refractive index sensor based on an abrupt taper Michelson interferometer in a single-mode fiber,” Opt. Lett. 33, 1105–1107 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Tsai, H. L.

Tsai, W. J.

Vengsarkar, A. M.

Villatoro, J.

R. Jha, J. Villatoro, G. Badenes, and V. Pruneri, “Refractometry based on a photonic crystal fiber interferometer,” Opt. Lett. 34, 617–619 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. Monzón-Hernández, V. P. Minkovich, J. Villatoro, M. P. Kreuzer, and G. Badenes, “Photonic crystal fiber microtaper supporting two selective higher-order modes with high sensitivity to gas molecules,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 081106(2008).
[CrossRef]

Wang, D. N.

Wang, S.

Wang, X. Z.

Wang, Y.

Wang, Y. P.

Wei, L.

Wei, T.

Wu, P. H.

Xiao, H.

Xiao, L. M.

Yam, S. S.-H.

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, and H. P. Loock, “Refractive index sensor based on an abrupt taper Michelson interferometer in a single-mode fiber,” Opt. Lett. 33, 1105–1107 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, J. Barnes, W. Bock, P. Greig, J. M. Fraser, H.-P. Loock, and R. D. Oleschuk, “Refractive index sensing with Mach–Zehnder interferometer based on concatenating two single-mode fiber tapers,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 626–628 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, and H. P. Loock, “Single-mode fiber refractive index sensor based on core-offset attenuators,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 1387–1389 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Yan, J. H.

J. F. Ding, A. P. Zhang, L. Y. Shao, J. H. Yan, and S. He, “Fiber-taper seeded long-period grating pair as a highly sensitive refractive-index sensor,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 1247–1249 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Yang, M.

Yin, M. J.

Yuan, L.

Zhang, A. P.

B. B. Gu, M. J. Yin, A. P. Zhang, J. W. Qian, and S. He, “Low-cost high-performance fiber-optic pH sensor based on thin-core fiber modal interferometer,” Opt. Express 17, 22296–22302 (2009).
[CrossRef]

J. F. Ding, A. P. Zhang, L. Y. Shao, J. H. Yan, and S. He, “Fiber-taper seeded long-period grating pair as a highly sensitive refractive-index sensor,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 1247–1249 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Zhang, J.

Zhang, L.

Zhao, L.

L. Zhao, L. Jiang, S. Wang, H. Xiao, Y. Lu, and H. L. Tsai, “A high-quality Mach–Zehnder interferometer fiber sensor by femtosecond laser one-step processing,” Sensors 11, 54–61(2010).
[CrossRef]

Zhou, D. P.

Zhou, K.

Appl. Opt. (3)

Appl. Phys. A (1)

C. H. Lin, L. Jiang, Y. H. Chai, H. Xiao, S. J. Chen, and H. L. Tsai, “Fabrication of microlens arrays in photosensitive glass by femtosecond laser direct writing,” Appl. Phys. A 97, 751–757 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett. (2)

D. Monzón-Hernández, V. P. Minkovich, J. Villatoro, M. P. Kreuzer, and G. Badenes, “Photonic crystal fiber microtaper supporting two selective higher-order modes with high sensitivity to gas molecules,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 081106(2008).
[CrossRef]

P. Lu, L. Men, K. Sooley, and Q. Chen, “Tapered fiber Mach–Zehnder interferometer for simultaneous measurement of refractive index and temperature,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 94, 131110 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Electron. Lett. (1)

K. S. Chiang, Y. Q. Liu, M. Nar Ng, and X. Y. Dong, “Analysis of etched long-period fiber grating and its response to external refractive index,” Electron. Lett. 36, 966–967 (2000).
[CrossRef]

IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. (4)

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, J. Barnes, W. Bock, P. Greig, J. M. Fraser, H.-P. Loock, and R. D. Oleschuk, “Refractive index sensing with Mach–Zehnder interferometer based on concatenating two single-mode fiber tapers,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 626–628 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Z. B. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, and H. P. Loock, “Single-mode fiber refractive index sensor based on core-offset attenuators,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 20, 1387–1389 (2008).
[CrossRef]

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[CrossRef]

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Figures (6)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

(a) Schematic diagram of the MZI embedded in a thinned optical fiber, (b) the microscopic image of a flat taper (thinned fiber) with a waist diameter of 35 μm , and (c) the microscopic image of an abrupt taper on the thinned fiber with waist diameter ( d 1 ) and length ( l 1 ) of 33 μm and 372 μm , respectively.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Transmission spectra of (a) the flat taper (thinned fiber), (b) a single abrupt taper embedded in the thinned fiber, and (c) two abrupt tapers embedded in the thinned fiber (MZI-1).

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Transmission spectra of (a) the flat taper (thinned fiber), (b) a single abrupt taper embedded in the thinned fiber, and (c) two abrupt tapers embedded in the thinned fiber (MZI-2).

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Transmission spectra of (a) the flat taper (thinned fiber), (b) a single abrupt taper embedded in the thinned fiber, and (c) two abrupt tapers embedded in the thinned fiber (MZI-3).

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Attenuation wavelength shifts of MZI-1 (squares), MZI-2 (circles) and MZI-3 (triangles) with the increasing of external RI. The inset is the transmission spectra of MZI-1 in different sucrose solutions.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

(a) Attenuation wavelength shifts of MZI-1 (squares) and MZI-2 (triangles) with the increasing of temperature in atmosphere. (b) The attenuation wavelength shifts of MZI-3 (circles) with the increasing of temperature in water.

Tables (1)

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Table 1 Parameters of the Interferometers

Equations (2)

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I = i = 1 n I i + i = 1 n 1 j = i + 1 n 2 I i I j cos ( 2 π ( n i n j ) L MZ λ ) ,
d λ m d n ext = 2 π L MZ ( 2 m + 1 ) π ( n j n ext ) / [ 1 λ m Δ n eff ( n co λ n j λ ) ] ,

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