Abstract

In this paper, we report a sensitive refractive index sensor based on the titanium dioxide (TiO \$ _2\$ ) film coated excessively tilted fiber grating (Ex-TFG) operating around the dispersion tuning point. The effects of the TiO \$ _2\$ film on the cladding mode field, transmission, and sensing characteristics of the Ex-TFG are outlined. It is found that the TiO \$ _2\$ film induces a two-step mode transition process for both TE/TM \$ _{0,l}\$ and HE/EH \$ _{v,l}\$ ( \$ v=1,2,\ldots\$ ) cladding modes. During the first transition, the same optimized film thickness can be obtained for TE \$ _{0,l}\$ , HE \$ _{1,l}\$ , and EH \$ _{2,l-1}\$ cladding modes. The results show that the sensitivity can be optimized based on the combined effects of the intermodal separation, initial wavelength separation, and the variation in the phase matching curve (i.e., \$ \partial \Lambda / \partial \lambda\$ ). The improved sensitivities are up to \$ 32261.2\;\text{nm}/\text{RIU}\$ and \$ 23183.3\;\text{nm}/\text{RIU}\$ by tracking dual resonance band corresponding to the s-polarized TE \$ _{0,10}\$ and p-polarized EH \$ _{2,9}\$ cladding modes, respectively, in the low refractive index region. For the single resonance corresponding to the s-polarized HE \$ _{1,9}\$ cladding mode, the sensitivity as high as \$ 25860.0\;\text{nm}/\text{RIU}\$ is achieved. The sensitivity is significantly enhanced by a factor of \$ 13.2 \sim 18.1\$ and \$ 3.7 \sim 5.2\$ times as compared with the uncoated Ex-TFG and classical TiO \$ _2\$ film coated long period fiber grating with reduced fiber diameter, respectively. The sensitivity can be further improved, which makes the film coated Ex-TFG very attractive for the refractive index sensing.

© 2018 IEEE

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