Abstract

The absolute refractive indices (RIs) of water and other liquids are determined with an uncertainty of ±0.001 at near-infrared wavelengths by using the tilted fiber Bragg grating (TFBG) cladding mode resonances of a standard single-mode fiber to measure the critical angle for total internal reflection at the interface between the fiber and its surroundings. The necessary condition to obtain absolute RIs (instead of measuring RI changes) is a thorough characterization of the dispersion of the core mode effective index of the TFBG across the full range of its cladding mode resonance spectrum. This technique is shown to be competitive with the best available measurements of the RIs of water and NaCl solutions at wavelengths in the vicinity of 1550 nm.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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