Abstract

The inception of photonic crystal fibers (PCFs) allowed for unprecedented tailoring of waveguide properties for specialty sensing probes. Exposed core microstructured fibers (ECFs) represent a natural evolution of the PCF design for practical liquid and gas sensing. Until now, to the best of our knowledge, only single-mode or few-modes ECFs have been explored. In this Letter, we demonstrate a highly multimode ECF with a lateral access that extends throughout the whole length of the fiber. The ECF is operated as a fiber specklegram sensor for assessing properties of fluids and interrogated using a simple and low-cost setup. The probe exhibits a refractive index resolution and sensitivity of at least ${4.6} \times {{10}^{- 4}}$ refractive index units (RIUs) and ${-}{10.97}\;{{\rm RIU}^{- 1}}$, respectively. A maximum temperature resolution up to 0.017°C with a ${-}{0.20}^\circ {{\rm C}^{- 1}}$ temperature sensitivity over the 23°C–28°C range and a liquid level sensing resolution up to 0.12 mm with ${-}{0.015}\;{{\rm mm}^{- 1}}$ sensitivity over the 0.0–50.0 mm bathed the length range in water.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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