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Near Infrared Characterization of Hetero-Core Optical Fiber SPR Sensors Coated with Ta2O5 Film and Their Applications

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Author(s): Keiju Takagi | Kazuhiro Watanabe

Journal: Sensors
ISSN 1424-8220

Volume: 12;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 2208;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: optical fiber sensor | hetero-core structure | surface plasmon resonance | tandem-connected | multi-point measurement

ABSTRACT
This paper describes the characteristics of optical fiber sensors with surface plasmon resonance (SPR) at 1,310 nm in which the scattering loss of silica optical fiber is low. SPR operation in the infrared wavelength range is achieved by coating a thin tantalum pentaoxide (Ta2O5) film. The novelty of this paper lies in the verification of how the hetero-core scheme could be operated as a commercial base candidate in the sense of easy fabrication, sufficient mechanical strength, and significant sensitivity as a liquid detector under the basis of a low loss transmission network in the near infrared wavelength region. The effect of Ta2O5 layer thickness has been experimentally revealed in the wavelength region extending to 1,800 nm by using the hetero-core structured optical fiber. SPR characterizations have been made in the wavelength region 1,000–1,300 nm, showing the feasible operation at the near infrared wavelength and the possible practical applications. In addition, the technique developed in this work has been interestingly applied to a multi-point water-detection and a water-level gauge in which tandem-connected SPR sensors system using hetero-core structured fibers were incorporated. The detailed performance characteristics are also shown on these applications.

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