Abstract

The salinity and temperature of seawater are important parameters in oceanography. Based on the directional coupler assembled by polyimide-coated micro/nanofibers, optical sensors with high sensitivity for simultaneous salinity and temperature sensing in seawater are proposed. Dependences of sensitivities on wavelength, salinity, and temperature are investigated theoretically, with which performances of such sensor under general sea conditions can be evaluated. Results show that salinity and temperature sensitivities can reach levels of nm/‰ and nm/°C, which are much higher than those of fiber Bragg gratings, knot resonators, and photonic crystal fibers. Other considerations for system design such as the length of the coupling area, the diameter difference between two fibers, and the thickness of polyimide coatings are also discussed. Sensors proposed here suggest a simple approach to realize high-sensitivity micro/nanofiber optical sensing of salinity and temperature in seawater simultaneously and may find applications in developing miniature sensors used in seawater.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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