Abstract

In microfluidic chips applications, the monitoring of the rate and the direction of a microfluidic flow is very important. Here, we demonstrate a liquid flow rate and a direction sensor using a partially gold-coated tilted fiber Bragg grating (TFBG) as the sensing element. Wavelength shifts and amplitude changes of the TFBG transmission resonances in the near infrared reveal the direction of the liquid flowing along the fiber axis in the vicinity of the TFBG due to a nanoscale gold layer over part of the TFBG. For a device length of 10 mm (and a diameter of 125 µm for easy insertion into microfluidic channels), the flow rates and the direction can be detectable unequivocally. The TFBG waveguiding properties allow such devices to function in liquids with refractive indices ranging from 1.33 to about 1.40. In addition, the proposed sensor can be made inherently temperature-insensitive by referencing all wavelengths to the wavelength of the core mode resonance of the grating, which is isolated from the fiber surroundings.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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