Abstract

Phase-shift cavity ring-down spectroscopy (PS-CRDS) is an alternative CRDS approach that allows the detection of minute changes in cavity losses by measurement of the phase shift experienced by a modulated laser as it propagates through a high-quality factor cavity. Fiber loop resonators and microresonators have been employed in previous PS-CRDS demonstrations for liquid phase applications. Here we employ a tapered fiber-based linear fiber cavity for the demonstration of a highly sensitive sensor for sucrose concentration in water using PS-CRDS. Our linear fiber cavity has a small cavity length (${\sim}{1.25}\;{\rm m}$) that enables the observation and tracking of individual cavity modes in transmission and phase spectra recorded during laser sweeps. Hence, we eliminate the need for Pound–Drever–Hall locking of the laser source to the cavity resonance and thus provide a simpler experimental scheme. We analyze the recorded data sets to track the changes in phase shifts observed only when the laser wavelength is in resonance with the cavity modes. Such a mode-tracking PS-CRDS approach reveals limit of detection values less than around 400 µM, better than the performance of previously demonstrated PS-CRDS sucrose concentration sensors employing fiber loop resonators. The sensitivity of our sensor critically depends on the fiber taper diameter and can reach up to around 6°/1 mM Suc. for 3.2 µm taper diameter at 6 MHz modulation frequency using fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) with reflectivities around 86%. This value can be further increased by employing FBGs with higher reflectivities or fiber tapers with smaller diameters provided that the cavity loss due to water absorption is compensated with an amplifier.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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