Evanescently coupled optical fiber refractometer based a tilted fiber Bragg grating and a D-shaped fiber


  • Cai, Zhongyue
  • Liu, Fu
  • Guo, Tuan
  • Guan, Bai-Ou
  • Peng, Gang-Ding
  • Albert, Jacques




A novel tip-reflective and power-referenced refractometer based on strong fiber-to-fiber optical coupling for a large range of surrounding refractive index (SRI) (from 1.33 to 1.45) is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. A short D-shaped fiber stub is placed in parallel and close contact to another standard circular fiber containing a weakly tilted Bragg grating (TFBG). The TFBG couples the light from the circular fiber’s core into its cladding where it remains guided. Apart from the direct light coupling over the contact interface, the evanescent field from the guided cladding modes penetrates the surroundings and reaches the D-fiber core by tunneling across the medium into which the fiber pair is located. The amount of tunneling depends strongly on the SRI so that the total amount of light collected by the D-fiber provides a measure of the SRI. Sensitivities ranging from ∼1000 to 13000 nW/RIU (Refractive Index Unit) have been obtained and the result is independent of temperature (within +/−10 nW of uncertainty). The measurement can be temperature-referenced through measurement of the TFBG spectrum if needed.


OSA Publishing

Peer Review: 

Published in Peer Reviewed Journal

Faculty Name: 

Faculty of Engineering and Design

Department Name: 

Department of Electronics

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