Abstract

Our purpose is to improve the performance sensitivity of a fiber sensor used as a fiber optic hydrophone probe (FOHP) by the addition of nanoscale thin film gold coating. The fiber is designed to provide a uniform and spatial averaging free response up to 100 MHz by etching down to an active diameter of approximately 9 μm. The performance sensitivity of straight cleaved (i.e., full size core and cladding) uncoated, tapered uncoated, and tapered thin film gold-coated fiber sensors was compared in the frequency range from 1.5 to 20 MHz in the presence of acoustic amplitude pressure levels as high as 6 MPa. An unprecedented voltage sensitivity of −245 dB relative to 1 V/μPa (560 mV/MPa) was measured for a thin film gold-coated FOHP by optimizing the gold coating thickness.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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