Abstract

A highly sensitive compact hydrophone, based on a pi-phase-shifted fiber Bragg grating, has been developed for the measurement of wideband ultrasonic fields. The grating exhibits a sharp resonance, whose centroid wavelength is pressure sensitive. The resonance is monitored by a continuous-wave (CW) laser to measure ultrasound-induced pressure variations within the grating. In contrast to standard fiber sensors, the high finesse of the resonance—which is the reason for the sensor’s high sensitivity—is not associated with a long propagation length. Light localization around the phase shift reduces the effective size of the sensor below that of the grating and is scaled inversely with the resonance spectral width. In our system, an effective sensor length of 270 μm, pressure sensitivity of 440 Pa, and effective bandwidth of 10 MHz were achieved. This performance makes our design attractive for medical imaging applications, such as optoacoustic tomography, in which compact, sensitive, and wideband acoustic detectors are required.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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