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Proceedings Paper

Development of on-fiber optical sensors utilizing chromogenic materials
Author(s): Jianming Yuan; Mahmoud A. El-Sherif
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Paper Abstract

On-fiber optical sensors, designed with chromogenic materials used as the fiber modified cladding, were developed for sensing environmental conditions. The design was based on the previously developed on-fiber devices. It is known that the light propagation characteristics in optical fibers are strongly influenced by the refractive index of the cladding materials. Thus, the idea of the on- fiber devices is based on replacing the passive optical fiber cladding with active or sensitive materials. For example, temperature sensors can be developed by replacing the fiber clad material with thermochromic materials. In this paper, segmented polyurethane-diacetylene copolymer (SPU), was selected as the thermochromic material for temperature sensors applications. This material has unique chromogenic properties as well as the required mechanical behaviors. During UV exposure and heat treatment, the color of the SPU copolymer varies with its refractive index. The boundary condition between core and cladding changes due to the change of the refractive index of the modified cladding material. The method used for the sensor development presented involves three steps: (a) removing the fiber jacket and cladding from a small region, (b) coating the chromogenic materials onto the modified region, and (c) integrating the optical fiber sensor components. The experimental set-up was established to detect the changes of the output signal based on the temperature variations. For the sensor evaluation, real-time measurements were performed under different heating-cooling cycles. Abrupt irreversible changes of the sensor output power were detected during the first heating-cooling cycle. At the same time, color changes of the SPU copolymer were observed in the modified region of the optical fiber. For the next heating-cooling cycles, however, the observed changes were almost completely reversible. This result demonstrates that a low-temperature sensor can be built by utilizing the chromogenic SPU copolymer as the modified cladding material.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 January 1999
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3538, Process Monitoring with Optical Fibers and Harsh Environment Sensors, (11 January 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.335755
Show Author Affiliations
Jianming Yuan, Drexel Univ. (United States)
Mahmoud A. El-Sherif, Drexel Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3538:
Process Monitoring with Optical Fibers and Harsh Environment Sensors
Michael A. Marcus; Michael A. Marcus; Anbo Wang, Editor(s)

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