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 under experimental conditions in which pressure fluctuations limited performance. We also determined that the absolute minimum detectable absorption change would be for conditions of constant pressure in which absorption measurement is limited by electronic and optical noise. Tolerance requirements for alignment are also presented.
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