Abstract

Acoustic wave sensors with a high sensitivity and small size are highly desired for a wide variety of important and emerging applications such as photoacoustic gas sensing and bio-imaging. Here we present an ultracompact optical fiber acoustic sensor based on an optomechanical resonator that is directly in situ printed on the end face of a standard single-mode optical fiber by using an optical 3D μ-printing technology. The fiber-top optomechanical microresonator is composed of a microscale suspended polymer micro-disk that forms a Fabry–Perot interferometric cavity, together with the optical fiber end face, and acts as the acoustic wave-sensitive micromechanical resonator simultaneously. The microbeams for suspending the micro-disk are devised with a spiral structure to overcome the small-size imposed low deflection amplitude so as to improve its sensitivity to acoustic waves. The sensor with a high sensitivity of 118.3 mV/Pa and low noise equivalent acoustic signal level of ${0.328}\;\unicode{x00B5} {{\rm Pa/Hz}^{1/2}}$ at audio frequency is experimentally demonstrated. Moreover, with a resonance amplification mechanism, the sensitivity can be enhanced by 40.1 times when the frequency of the acoustic wave matches with the natural resonance frequency of the optomechanical resonator. Such an ultrasmall fiber-tip acoustic sensor has not only a miniaturization-induced broad bandwidth, but also a structure-enhanced ultrahigh sensitivity and thus is very promising in various acoustic wave-based sensing, imaging, and testing applications.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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