Abstract

This Letter presents the fabrication of optical fiber refractometers based on indium tin oxide (ITO) coatings deposited by sputtering with response in the visible region. ITO thin films have been sputtered by means of a rotating mechanism that enables the fabrication of smooth and homogeneous coatings onto the optical fiber core. The ITO coating acts as a resonance supporting layer. This permits us to couple light from the waveguide to the ITO-coating/external medium region at specific wavelength ranges. The device is sensitive to external medium refractive index, which allows its utilization as a refractometer. The sensitivity is dependent on the coating thickness, ranging from 523.21 to 1221nm/refractive index unit in the explored sensors. The sensor development process is time effective compared to other techniques such as dip coating or layer-by-layer self-assembly, which is interesting in terms of mass production.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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