Chemical sensing applications of fiber optics

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Virginia Tech


A sensing method that can monitor metallic structures continuously would eventually produce safer metallic structures as well as a more efficient and economic way to monitor corrosion. A secondary focus of this research is the implementation of a fiber optic sensor to measure refractive indices of unknown solutions.

The surface plasmon sensor, interrogated with white light resulted in attenuations of light at different wavelengths when solutions of different refractive indices were introduced. This sensor has been shown to respond to the three configurations of polished single mode and multimode, as well as the unpolished multimode sensors. The sensitivity calculated was comparable with the sensitivity of the Kretschmann arrangement

The transmissive aluminum-clad fiber sensor was shown to be effective in providing a response to the process of corrosion. Varying lengths of aluminum-clad fiber was spliced to acrylate multimode fiber and different wavelengths of sources were used to test the sensor in a bath of NaOH. The results were similar and reproducible. A tapered sensor configuration was attempted and proved to be very useful.