Abstract

Fiber optic sensors based on the interaction of surface plasmons or evanescent waves with the surrounding environment are usually obtained by tapering an optical fiber, which significantly weakens the structure, or by use of just the end of the optical fiber. A fiber optic structure that maintains the structural integrity of the optical fiber with a long environmental interaction length is presented. Graded-index optical fiber elements are used as lenses, and a coreless optical fiber acts as the environmental interaction area. These elements are fused by an optical fiber splicer and result in a continuous fiber optic sensing system.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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