A submicrometer-thick zirconium dioxide film was deposited on the tip of a polished C-plane sapphire fiber to fabricate a temperature sensor that can work to an extended temperature range. Zirconium dioxide was selected as the thin film material to fabricate the temperature sensor because it has relatively close thermal expansion to that of sapphire, but more importantly it does not react appreciably with sapphire up to 1800 °C. In order to study the properties of the deposited thin film, was also deposited on C-plane sapphire substrates and characterized by x-ray diffraction for phase analysis as well as by atomic force microscopy for analysis of surface morphology. Using low-coherence optical interferometry, the fabricated thin-film-based sapphire fiber sensor was tested in the lab up to 1200 °C and calibrated from 200° to 1000 °C. The temperature resolution is determined to be 5.8 °C when using an Ocean Optics USB4000 spectrometer to detect the reflection spectra from the thin-film temperature sensor.
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