Abstract

Novel in-line single-mode fiber interferometers—Mach–Zehnder and Michelson—have been designed, fabricated, and tested as refractive index (RI) sensors. Abrupt tapers and connector-offset attenuators are proposed as alternatives to long period gratings (LPGs) as mode-coupling mechanisms to transfer optical power between core and cladding modes in optical fiber. The coupling coefficients between core and cladding modes in the proposed designs were calculated using numerical packages and the devices were subsequently implemented using commercially available fusion splicer. For an abrupt taper, most coupling occurs between the ${\rm LP}_{01}$ and ${\rm LP}_{0{m}}$ modes, with the first ten modes accounting for 98% of the incident mode energy. For a connector-offset attenuator, coupling mainly occurs between the ${\rm LP}_{01}$ and ${\rm LP}_{1{ m}}$ modes, with the first ten ${\rm LP}_{0{ m}}$ modes and first ten ${\rm LP}_{1{ m}}$ modes accounting for 92% of the incident mode energy. In particular, in the case of connector-offset attenuator, the relative direction between the two connector-offsets was found to be very important to the interference performance. Interference patterns were realized in simulation for the interferometers using both mode-coupling mechanisms. Three interferometers were realized in the experiment using abrupt taper—Mach–Zehnder and Michelson—and connector-offset attenuator—Michelson. They showed large extinction ratios (up to 23 dB) and small insertion losses (smaller than 3 dB). Although it is difficult to make Mach–Zehnder interferometers using connector-offset attenuator pair due to the lack of polarization control in the fusion splicer, some evidence of constructive interference was observed in the experiment. The interferometers were tested as RI sensors using the maximum attenuation wavelength shift. Given that the minimum resolution of optical spectrum analyzer is 10 pm, ${\sim} {\hbox {10}}^{ - 4}$ difference of RI can be detected by the proposed interferometric sensors, providing similar performance as LPG-based interferometers at a lower cost and simpler fabrication process.

© 2009 IEEE

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2008 (3)

Z. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, J. Barnes, W. Bock, P. Greig, J. M. Fraser, H. P. Loock, 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).

Z. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, H. P. Loock, "Refractive index sensor based on an abrupt taper Michelson interferometer in a single mode fiber," Opt. Lett. 33, 1105-1107 (2008).

Z. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, H. P. Loock, "Single mode fiber refractive index sensor based on core-offset attenuators," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett 20, 1387-1389 (2008).

2006 (1)

L. Yuan, J. Yang, Z. Liu, J. Sun, "In-fiber integrated Michelson interferometer," Opt. Lett. 13, 2692-2694 (2006).

2005 (2)

X. Daxhelet, L. Martineau, J. Bures, "Influence of the fiber index profile on vectorial fiber modes and application to tapered fiber devices," J. Lightw. Technol. 23, 1874-1880 (2005).

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

2004 (1)

P. L. Swart, "Long-period grating Michelson refractometric sensor," Meas. Sci. Technol. 15, 1576-1580 (2004).

2000 (2)

K. S. Chiang, Y. Liu, M. N. Ng, X. Dong, "Analysis of etched long-period fibre grating and its response to external refractive," Electron. Lett. 36, 966-967 (2000).

R. Scarmozzino, A. Gopinath, R. Pregla, S. Helfert, "Numerical techniques for modeling guided-wave photonic devices," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 6, 150-162 (2000).

1998 (1)

H. J. Patrick, A. D. Kersey, F. Bucholtz, "Analysis of the response of long-period fiber grating to external index of refraction," J. Lightw. Technol. 16, 1606-1612 (1998).

1994 (2)

D. Yevick, "A guide to electric field propagation technique for guided-wave optics," Opt. Quantum Electron. 26, S185-S197 (1994).

C. L. Xu, W. P. Huang, S. K. Chaudhuri, J. Chrostowski, "An unconditionally stable vectorial beam propagation method for 3-D structures," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 6, 549-551 (1994).

1993 (1)

W. P. Huang, C. L. Xu, "Simulation of three-dimensional optical waveguide by a full-vector beam propagation method," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 29, 2639-2649 (1993).

1990 (2)

M. D. Feit, J. A. Fleck, "Analysis of rib waveguides and couplers by the propagating beam method," J. Opt. Soc. Amer. A 7, 73-79 (1990).

D. Yevick, B. Hermansson, "Efficient beam propagation techniques," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 29, 109-112 (1990).

1978 (1)

Appl. Opt. (1)

Electron. Lett. (1)

K. S. Chiang, Y. Liu, M. N. Ng, X. Dong, "Analysis of etched long-period fibre grating and its response to external refractive," Electron. Lett. 36, 966-967 (2000).

IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. (1)

W. P. Huang, C. L. Xu, "Simulation of three-dimensional optical waveguide by a full-vector beam propagation method," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 29, 2639-2649 (1993).

IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett (1)

Z. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, H. P. Loock, "Single mode fiber refractive index sensor based on core-offset attenuators," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett 20, 1387-1389 (2008).

IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. (3)

C. L. Xu, W. P. Huang, S. K. Chaudhuri, J. Chrostowski, "An unconditionally stable vectorial beam propagation method for 3-D structures," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 6, 549-551 (1994).

Z. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, J. Barnes, W. Bock, P. Greig, J. M. Fraser, H. P. Loock, 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).

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

IEEE J. Quantum Electron. (1)

R. Scarmozzino, A. Gopinath, R. Pregla, S. Helfert, "Numerical techniques for modeling guided-wave photonic devices," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 6, 150-162 (2000).

IEEE J. Quantum Electron. (1)

D. Yevick, B. Hermansson, "Efficient beam propagation techniques," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 29, 109-112 (1990).

J. Opt. Soc. Amer. A (1)

M. D. Feit, J. A. Fleck, "Analysis of rib waveguides and couplers by the propagating beam method," J. Opt. Soc. Amer. A 7, 73-79 (1990).

J. Lightw. Technol. (2)

X. Daxhelet, L. Martineau, J. Bures, "Influence of the fiber index profile on vectorial fiber modes and application to tapered fiber devices," J. Lightw. Technol. 23, 1874-1880 (2005).

H. J. Patrick, A. D. Kersey, F. Bucholtz, "Analysis of the response of long-period fiber grating to external index of refraction," J. Lightw. Technol. 16, 1606-1612 (1998).

Meas. Sci. Technol. (1)

P. L. Swart, "Long-period grating Michelson refractometric sensor," Meas. Sci. Technol. 15, 1576-1580 (2004).

Opt. Lett. (2)

L. Yuan, J. Yang, Z. Liu, J. Sun, "In-fiber integrated Michelson interferometer," Opt. Lett. 13, 2692-2694 (2006).

Z. Tian, S. S.-H. Yam, H. P. Loock, "Refractive index sensor based on an abrupt taper Michelson interferometer in a single mode fiber," Opt. Lett. 33, 1105-1107 (2008).

Opt. Quantum Electron. (1)

D. Yevick, "A guide to electric field propagation technique for guided-wave optics," Opt. Quantum Electron. 26, S185-S197 (1994).

Other (1)

"Optiwave," Opti BPM http://www.optiwave.com/site/products/bpm.html.

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