Abstract

An integrated fiber-optic sensor is described that uses incoherent broadband cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy for sensitive detection of aqueous samples in nanoliter volumes. Absorption was measured in a 100 µm gap between the ends of two short segments of multimode graded-index fiber that were integrated into a capillary using a precision machined V-grooved fixture that allowed for passive fiber alignment. The other ends of the fibers were coated with dielectric mirrors to form a 9.5 cm optical resonator. Light from a fiber-coupled superluminescent diode was directly coupled into one end of the cavity, and transmission was measured using a fiber-coupled silicon photodiode. Dilute aqueous solutions of near infrared dye were used to determine the minimum detectable absorption change of 2.4×104 under experimental conditions in which pressure fluctuations limited performance. We also determined that the absolute minimum detectable absorption change would be 1.6×105 for conditions of constant pressure in which absorption measurement is limited by electronic and optical noise. Tolerance requirements for alignment are also presented.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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