Abstract

In this Letter, an all-fiber refractometer with a simple configuration of periodical tapers on a photonic crystal fiber (PCF) is proposed and investigated experimentally. The proposed fiber refractive index (RI) sensor consists of a PCF sandwiched between two standard single-mode fibers, with tapers periodically fabricated along the PCF using a CO2 laser beam focused by a ZnSe cylindrical lens. The proposed fiber sensor can be used for RI sensing by measuring the wavelength shift of the multimode interference dip over the transmission spectrum. An average sensitivity of 222nm/RIU has been experimentally achieved over a RI range from 1.33 to 1.38. The proposed refractometer is also significantly less sensitive to temperature, and an experimental demonstration of this reduced sensitivity is presented. The proposed RI sensor benefits from simplicity and low-cost and achieves a competitive sensitivity compared with other existing fiber-optic sensors.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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