Highly sensitive refractive index sensor based on ... - OSA Publishing

4 downloads 5 Views 2MB Size Report
cascaded microfiber knots with Vernier effect ... (RI) sensor based on cascaded microfiber knot resonators (CMKRs) with ...... Then, water with RI of 1.3315 is.

Highly sensitive refractive index sensor based on cascaded microfiber knots with Vernier effect Zhilin Xu,1 Qizhen Sun,1,2,* Borui Li,1 Yiyang Luo,1 Wengao Lu,1 Deming Liu,1 Perry Ping Shum,1,3 and Lin Zhang2 1

School of Optical and Electronic Information, National Engineering Laboratory for Next Generation Internet Access System, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, Hubei, China 2 Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies, Aston University, B4 7ET, UK 3 OPTIMUS, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 639798, Singapore * [email protected]

Abstract: We propose and experimentally demonstrate a refractive index (RI) sensor based on cascaded microfiber knot resonators (CMKRs) with Vernier effect. Deriving from high proportional evanescent field of microfiber and spectrum magnification function of Vernier effect, the RI sensor shows high sensitivity as well as high detection resolution. By using the method named “Drawing-Knotting-Assembling (DKA)”, a compact CMKRs is fabricated for experimental demonstration. With the assistance of Lorentz fitting algorithm on the transmission spectrum, sensitivity of 6523nm/RIU and detection resolution up to 1.533 × 10−7RIU are obtained in the experiment which show good agreement with the numerical simulation. The proposed all-fiber RI sensor with high sensitivity, compact size and low cost can be widely used for chemical and biological detection, as well as the electronic/magnetic field measurement. ©2015 Optical Society of America OCIS codes: (060.2370) Fiber optics sensors; (230.3120) Integrated optics devices; (230.3990) Micro-optical devices; (230.5750) Resonators.

References and links 1.

Y. H. Tai and P. K. Wei, “Sensitive liquid refractive index sensors using tapered optical fiber tips,” Opt. Lett. 35(7), 944–946 (2010). 2. W. Liang, Y. Huang, Y. Xu, R. K. Lee, and A. Yariv, “Highly sensitive fiber Bragg grating refractive index sensors,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 86(15), 151122 (2005). 3. T. Wei, Y. Han, Y. Li, H. L. Tsai, and H. Xiao, “Temperature-insensitive miniaturized fiber inline Fabry-Perot interferometer for highly sensitive refractive index measurement,” Opt. Express 16(8), 5764–5769 (2008). 4. S. Gao, W. Zhang, Z. Y. Bai, H. Zhang, W. Lin, L. Wang, and J. Li, “Microfiber-Enabled In-line Fabry–Pérot Interferometer for High-Sensitive Force and Refractive Index Sensing,” J. Lightwave Technol. 32(9), 1682–1688 (2014). 5. Y. Wang, M. Yang, D. Wang, S. Liu, and P. Lu, “Fiber in-line Mach-Zehnder interferometer fabricated by femtosecond laser micromachining for refractive index measurement with high sensitivity,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 27(3), 370–374 (2010). 6. R. Yang, Y. S. Yu, Y. Xue, C. Chen, Q. D. Chen, and H. B. Sun, “Single S-tapered fiber Mach-Zehnder interferometers,” Opt. Lett. 36(23), 4482–4484 (2011). 7. G. Nemova and R. Kashyap, “Theoretical model of a planar integrated refractive index sensor based on surface plasmon-polariton excitation with a long period grating,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 24(10), 2696–2701 (2007). 8. A. M. Armani, R. P. Kulkarni, S. E. Fraser, R. C. Flagan, and K. J. Vahala, “Label-free, single-molecule detection with optical microcavities,” Science 317(5839), 783–787 (2007). 9. D. Dai, “Highly sensitive digital optical sensor based on cascaded high-Q ring-resonators,” Opt. Express 17(26), 23817–23822 (2009). 10. L. Tong, R. R. Gattass, J. B. Ashcom, S. He, J. Lou, M. Shen, I. Maxwell, and E. Mazur, “Subwavelengthdiameter silica wires for low-loss optical wave guiding,” Nature 426(6968), 816–819 (2003). 11. G. Brambilla, F. Xu, P. Horak, Y. Jung, F. Koizumi, N. P. Sessions, E. Koukharenko, X. Feng, G. S. Murugan, J. S. Wilkinson, and D. J. Richardson, “Optical fiber nanowires and microwires: fabrication and applications,” Adv. Opt. Photon. 1(1), 107–161 (2009). 12. F. Gao, H. Liu, C. Sheng, C. Zhu, and S. N. Zhu, “Refractive index sensor based on the leaky radiation of a microfiber,” Opt. Express 22(10), 12645–12652 (2014).

#229117 - $15.00 USD © 2015 OSA

Received 15 Dec 2014; revised 21 Feb 2015; accepted 24 Feb 2015; published 3 Mar 2015 9 Mar 2015 | Vol. 23, No. 5 | DOI:10.1364/OE.23.006662 | OPTICS EXPRESS 6662

13. R. Liang, Q. Sun, J. Wo, and D. Liu, “Investigation on micro/nanofiber Bragg grating for refractive index sensing,” Opt. Commun. 285(6), 1128–1133 (2012). 14. Y. Ran, Y.-N. Tan, L.-P. Sun, S. Gao, J. Li, L. Jin, and B. O. Guan, “193 nm excimer laser inscribed Bragg gratings in microfibers for refractive index sensing,” Opt. Express 19(19), 18577–18583 (2011). 15. X. Fang, C. R. Liao, and D. N. Wang, “Femtosecond laser fabricated fiber Bragg grating in microfiber for refractive index sensing,” Opt. Lett. 35(7), 1007–1009 (2010). 16. J. Zhang, Q. Sun, R. Liang, W. Jia, X. Li, J. Wo, D. Liu, and P. Shum, “Microfiber Fabry–Perot Interferometer for Dual-Parameter Sensing,” J. Lightwave Technol. 31(10), 1608–1615 (2013). 17. W. Jin, H. Xuan, and W. Jin, “Long period gratings in highly birefringent microfibers,” Proc. SPIE 9157, 91577N (2014). 18. W. B. Ji, S. C. Tjin, B. Lin, and C. L. Ng, “Highly Sensitive Refractive Index Sensor Based on Adiabatically Tapered Microfiber Long Period Gratings,” Sensors (Basel) 13(10), 14055–14063 (2013). 19. Y. Tan, L. Sun, L. Jin, J. Li, and B. Guan, “Long period grating-based microfiber Mach-Zehnder interferometer for sensing applications,” Proc. SPIE 8924, 892435 (2013). 20. J. Wo, G. Wang, Y. Cui, Q. Sun, R. Liang, P. P. Shum, and D. Liu, “Refractive index sensor using microfiberbased Mach-Zehnder interferometer,” Opt. Lett. 37(1), 67–69 (2012). 21. M. Kuczkowski, C. Ying, X. Quyen Dinh, P. P. Shum, K. A. Rutkowska, and T. R. Woliński, “Microfiber Sagnac Interferometer for sensing applications,” Photon. Lett. Poland 4(4), 134–136 (2012). 22. L. Sun, J. Li, Y. Tan, X. Shen, X. Xie, S. Gao, and B. O. Guan, “Miniature highly-birefringent microfiber loop with extremely-high refractive index sensitivity,” Opt. Express 20(9), 10180–10185 (2012). 23. F. Xu, P. Horak, and G. Brambilla, “Optical microfiber coil resonator refractometric sensor,” Opt. Express 15(12), 7888–7893 (2007). 24. X. Jiang, Q. Yang, G. Vienne, Y. Li, L. Tong, J. Zhang, and L. Hu, “Demonstration of microfiber knot laser,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(14), 143513 (2006). 25. X. Jiang, Y. Chen, G. Vienne, and L. Tong, “All-fiber add-drop filters based on microfiber knot resonators,” Opt. Lett. 32(12), 1710–1712 (2007). 26. Y. Wu, Y. J. Rao, Y. H. Chen, and Y. Gong, “Miniature fiber-optic temperature sensors based on silica/polymer microfiber knot resonators,” Opt. Express 17(20), 18142–18147 (2009). 27. X. Li and H. Ding, “All-fiber magnetic-field sensor based on microfiber knot resonator and magnetic fluid,” Opt. Lett. 37(24), 5187–5189 (2012). 28. T. Claes, W. Bogaerts, and P. Bienstman, “Experimental characterization of a silicon photonic biosensor consisting of two cascaded ring resonators based on the Vernier-effect and introduction of a curve fitting method for an improved detection limit,” Opt. Express 18(22), 22747–22761 (2010). 29. R. Xu, S. L. P. Lu, and D. Liu, “Experimental Characterization of a Vernier Strain Sensor Using Cascaded Fiber Rings,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 24(23), 2125–2128 (2012). 30. L. Zhang, P. Lu, L. Chen, C. Huang, D. Liu, and S. Jiang, “Optical fiber strain sensor using fiber resonator based on frequency comb Vernier spectroscopy,” Opt. Lett. 37(13), 2622–2624 (2012). 31. P. Zhang, M. Tang, F. Gao, B. Zhu, S. Fu, J. Ouyang, P. P. Shum, and D. Liu, “Cascaded fiber-optic FabryPerot interferometers with Vernier effect for highly sensitive measurement of axial strain and magnetic field,” Opt. Express 22(16), 19581–19588 (2014). 32. S. J. Choi, Z. Peng, Q. Yang, S. J. Choi, and P. D. Dapkus, “Tunable narrow linewidth all-buried hetero structure ring resonator filters using vernier effects,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17(1), 106–108 (2005). 33. J. Hu and D. Dai, “Cascaded-ring optical sensor with enhanced sensitivity by using suspended Si-nanowires,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 23(13), 842–844 (2011). 34. V. Zamora, P. Lützow, M. Weiland, and D. Pergande, “Investigation of cascaded SiN microring resonators at 1.3 µm and 1.5 µm,” Opt. Express 21(23), 27550–27557 (2013). 35. P. Urquhart, “Compound optical-fiber-based resonators,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 5(6), 803–812 (1988). 36. G. Vienne, Y. Li, X. Jiang, and L. Tong, “Effect of host polymer on microring resonators,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19(18), 1386–1388 (2007).

1. Introduction Recently, the demands of costless, sensitive and compact refractive index (RI) sensors increase rapidly in the bio/chemical sensing fields. The requirement of measuring slight RI variation in small sample volume makes the bulk refractometers not appropriate for applications because of their relatively large size and weight [1]. Consequently, people have developed various integrated optical RI sensors, including tapered fiber tip [1], fiber grating [2], Fabry-Perot interferometers (FPIs) [3, 4], Mach-Zehnder interferometers (MZIs) [5, 6], surface Plasmon sensors [7], micro-cavities [8, 9] and so on to solve the problem. Among them, the all-fiber RI sensors offer special advantages of low insertion loss and high compatibility with other photoelectric devices. Micro/nano fiber (MNF) with the diameter of a few micrometers can be served as a reliable candidate of miniaturized RI sensor due to its unique properties such as high fraction of evanescent field, good flexibility and low bending loss [10, 11]. So far, many microfiber based structures have been proposed for RI measurement. F. Gao et al. reported a compact RI #229117 - $15.00 USD © 2015 OSA

Received 15 Dec 2014; revised 21 Feb 2015; accepted 24 Feb 2015; published 3 Mar 2015 9 Mar 2015 | Vol. 23, No. 5 | DOI:10.1364/OE.23.006662 | OPTICS EXPRESS 6663

sensor based on the leaky radiation of single microfiber, with RI detecting resolution of mere 0.001 refractive index unit (RIU) [12]. Besides, microfiber Bragg gratings were intensively investigated, but their sensitivities seem to be limited to only several hundred nm per RIU [13–16]. The RI sensitivity of microfiber long period gratings could reach to 4623nm/RIU [17], yet the complicated and relatively high cost fabrication process limits their applications [17–19]. Much effort has also been dedicated to microfiber based interferometers to improve the RI sensitivity, namely MZIs [20], Sagnac interferometers (SIs) [21] and polarimetric interferometers (PIs) [22]. Particularly, Lipeng Sun et al twisted a highly-birefringent microfiber to form a PI which showed RI sensitivity up to 24373nm/RIU. However, the specifically required rectangular fiber is difficult to connect with standard single-mode fiber, and the large bandwidth is unfavorable for accurately tracing the wavelength shift. Moreover, microfiber coil resonator with compact size and high Q-factor was researched for high resolution RI detection, whereas its sensitivity of only 700nm/RIU remains to be improved [23]. Meanwhile, as one of the most common resonators, microfiber knot resonator (MKR) has been used as laser filter [24], add-drop filter [25], temperature sensor [26] and magnetic field sensor [27]. Nevertheless, there was no reported systematical study about its RI sensing performance. Vernier-scale commonly used in calipers and barometers is a method to enhance the measurement accuracy. It consists of two scales with different periods, of which one slides along the other one. The overlap between lines on the two scales is used to perform the measurement [28]. Recently, Vernier effect has also attracted interest from optical sensing field due to the spectrum magnification function. Cascaded fiber ring resonators for strain measurement with sensitivity of 0.0129nm−1/με and detection limit of 0.125με is proposed and demonstrated [29]. By combining a fiber ring resonator with a passively mode-locked fiber laser, a micro-strain sensor with sensitivity higher than 40 pm/με is realized [30]. Moreover, two cascaded intrinsic FPIs are employed to induce Vernier effect for magnetic field detection with sensitivity of 71.57 pm/Oe [31]. However, Vernier effects generated by optical fiber are scarcely applied to RI sensors to the best of our knowledge. Although the two cascaded silicon micro-ring resonator (CMRRs) based on Vernier effect has been studied for RI sensing [32–34], the high cost, complicated fabrication process and low coupling efficiency with fiber limit their applications in the popular all-fiber sensing systems. In this paper, we propose a small-sized RI sensor based on cascaded microfiber knot resonators (CMKRs) with Vernier effect. The spectrum magnification function of Vernier effect renders a significant RI sensitivity enhancement to the CMKRs. Theoretical analysis is carried out to investigate the Vernier transmission spectrum of the CMKRs and then the RI sensing principle. By knotting two MKRs subsequently through a bus microfiber, a CMKRs is fabricated for experimental demonstration. Furthermore, Lorentz fitting method is adopted to accurately trace the wavelength shifts in the sensing response. 2. Working principle 2.1 Physical design and Vernier effect analysis of the CMKRs Based on single MKR [see Fig. 1(a)], we design the all microfiber compound resonator as illustrated in Fig. 1(b). Two MKRs are cascaded in series through a bus microfiber, forming four coupling regions I~IV. To present the working principle of the CMKRs more clearly, the single MKR is investigated in priority. As shown in Fig. 1(a), a fiber taper is knotted with the cavity of the MKR and used for coupling out the resonant modes from the drop port 7. Assume the coupling efficiencies and coupling loss coefficients of the two coupling region s I, II are ks1 , ks 2 and r01 , r02 , respectively, the electric fields of port 1-7 ( Ei , i = 1, 2,3 ) can be expressed as the following equation according to the transmission matrix theory [35]:

#229117 - $15.00 USD © 2015 OSA

Received 15 Dec 2014; revised 21 Feb 2015; accepted 24 Feb 2015; published 3 Mar 2015 9 Mar 2015 | Vol. 23, No. 5 | DOI:10.1364/OE.23.006662 | OPTICS EXPRESS 6664

 E   1 − k s1 j ks1   E1   3  = 1 − r01   ;   E4  1 − k s1   E2   j ks1   1 − ks 2   E6  E ;   = 1 − r02   5  E7   j ks 2    E5 = E3 exp ( −α +j β1 ) l11  ;   E2 = E6 exp ( −α + j β1 ) l12 

(1)

where β1 is the propagation constant in MKR, α is the total transmission loss coefficient containing the propagation loss coefficient and bending loss coefficient, l11 and l12 represent the fiber lengths from port 3 to port 5 and from port 6 to port 2, respectively. By solving Eq. (1), the ratio of E7 and E1 can be deduced as: exp ( −α + j β1 ) l11  (1 − ks1 ) ks 2 (1 − r01 )(1 − r02 ) ⋅ 1 − j k s1 (1 − k s 2 )(1 − r01 )(1 − r02 ) exp ( −α + j β1 )( l11 + l12 )  j

E7 E1 =

(2)

Fig. 1. The configurations of (a) single MKR and (b) CMKRs.

For the CMKRs assembled as Fig. 1(b), the light propagates as follows: Light launched into the first MKR (MKR1) through coupling region I oscillates in clockwise direction. At coupling region II, part of the power can be coupled to the bus microfiber and then transmits to the second MKR (MKR2) through coupling region III. Similarly, the light oscillates in MKR2 and at coupling region IV, the power is partly coupled to the output port 13. Therefore, based on the discussion about the single MKR, the ratio of electronic fields in port 13 ( E13 ) and port 1 ( E1 ) can be deduced as: E13 E1 =



j ks 3 (1 − ks 4 )(1 − r03 )(1 − r04 ) exp ( j β 2 l21 )

(1 − ks 3 ) ks 4 (1 − r03 )(1 − r04 ) exp  j β 2 ( l21 + l22 )

1− j

(1 − ks1 ) ks 2 (1 − r01 )(1 − r02 ) exp ( j β1l11 ) ks1 (1 − ks 2 )(1 − r01 )(1 − r02 ) exp  j β1 ( l11 + l12 ) 

j 1− j

⋅ exp ( −α + j β1 ) ls 

(3)

where β 2 is the propagation constant in MKR2, ls is the length of connecting microfiber, l21 and l22 represent the fiber lengths from port 10 to port 11 and from port 12 to port 9, respectively. k s 3 , ks 4 and r03 , r04 are the coupling efficiencies and coupling loss coefficients of coupling regions III and IV. By simplifying the Eq. (3), the transmissivity from Port 1 to Port 13 can be calculated as:

#229117 - $15.00 USD © 2015 OSA

Received 15 Dec 2014; revised 21 Feb 2015; accepted 24 Feb 2015; published 3 Mar 2015 9 Mar 2015 | Vol. 23, No. 5 | DOI:10.1364/OE.23.006662 | OPTICS EXPRESS 6665

T=

p

{1 + 4q sin [ β S 2

1

1 1

2 + π 4]}{1 + 4q2 sin 2 [ β 2 S 2 2 + π 4]}

;

S1 = l11 + l12 = 2π R1 ; S2 = l21 + l22 = 2π R2 ; p=

(e

1

2

(1 − e11e12 ) (1 − e21e22 )

(1 − r01 ) 1

e e e 2

q1 = e11 = ks1

)

2 ' ' ' ' 11 12 21 22

1

2

e11e12

4 (1 − e11e12 )

2

2

exp  −2α ( l12 + l22 )  ;

, q2 =

e21e22

4 (1 − e21e22 )

exp ( −α l11 ) ; e'11 = (1 − ks1 )

1

2

(4)

;

(1 − r01 )

1

1

2

1

2

exp ( −α l11 )

1

(1 − r02 ) 2 exp ( −α l12 ) ; e'12 = ks 2 2 (1 − r02 ) 2 exp ( −α l12 ) 12 12 12 12 e21 = (1-ks 3 ) (1 − r03 ) exp ( −α l21 ) ; e' 21 = ( k s 3 ) (1 − r03 ) exp ( −α l21 ) ; 12 12 12 e22 = k s 41 2 (1 − r04 ) exp ( −α l22 ) ; e '22 = (1-ks 4 ) (1 − r04 ) exp ( −α l22 ) ; e12 = (1 − k s 2 )

2

where R1 and R2 represent radii of MKR1 and MKR2, respectively. Being restricted by resonant principle, only the signal light whose frequency matches both MKRs could solidly exist, while others will be suppressed and can’t be output. According to Eq. (4), the phase resonant condition of the CMKRs can be described as: R1 m +1 2 ; m = 0,1, 2, ; N = 1, 2,3, = R2 m + N + 1 2

(5)

Specially, if N = 1, i.e. R1 R2 = ( m + 0.5 ) ( m + 1.5 ) , every m-th resonant peak of MKR1 will overlap with (m + 1)-th resonant peak of MKR2, as displayed in Fig. 2. Only the mutual resonant peaks of MKR1 and MKR2 rise to the maximum, while the other resonant peaks of MKR1 or MKR2 are suppressed. FSR1

FSR2

FSRc

Fig. 2. Transmission spectra of (a) MKR1, (b) MKR2 and (c) CMKRs with m = 10, N = 1.

Here, we define FSRc as the periodicity of the resulting beat signal, i.e. the FSR of the CMKRs. It can be seen from Fig. 2 that FSRc is magnified by m times of the FSR of MKR1 ( FSR1 ) or (m + 1) times of the FSR of MKR2 ( FSR2 ), i.e. FSRc = m × FSR1 = ( m + 1) × FSR2 , FSR1 =

#229117 - $15.00 USD © 2015 OSA

λ2 2π neff 1 R1

, FSR2 =

λ2

(6)

2π neff 2 R2

Received 15 Dec 2014; revised 21 Feb 2015; accepted 24 Feb 2015; published 3 Mar 2015 9 Mar 2015 | Vol. 23, No. 5 | DOI:10.1364/OE.23.006662 | OPTICS EXPRESS 6666

where λ denotes the operating wavelength in vacuum, and neff 1 and neff 2 are effective RIs of the two MKRs, respectively. Another important item for the CMKRs is the extinction ratio (ER) of Vernier spectrum, which is defined as the difference between the intensities of the highest fringe (Imax) and the lowest fringe (Imin), as marked by the red lines in Fig. 2(c). According to Eq. (4), ER depends on coupling efficiencies ( ks1 , ks 2 , ks 3 , ks 4 ) and coupling loss coefficients ( r01 , r02 , r03 , r04 ). In the following discussions, we consider ks1 = ks 2 = ks 3 = ks 4 = k , r01 = r02 = r03 = r04 = r for simplicity. The dependences of ER on the coupling efficiencies and coupling losses are analyzed and presented in Figs. 3(a) and 3(b). It is obvious that ER monotonously increases with the coupling efficiencies while almost linearly decreases with the coupling losses. Therefore, in theory the ER can be augmented by increasing the coupling efficiencies and decreasing the coupling losses of the coupling regions I~IV.

Fig. 3. The dependences of ER on the (a) coupling efficiencies k and (b) coupling loss coefficients r.

2.2 RI sensing principle of the cascaded MKRs with Vernier effect According to the discussion above, the CMKRs is expected to be a highly sensitive RI sensor. Actually, CMKRs can work as a RI sensor under three conditions, namely, (1) the ambient RIs of both MKR1 and MKR2 are varied; (2) only the ambient RI of MKR1 is varied; (3) only the ambient RI of MKR2 is varied. It can be inferred from Fig. 2 that the CMKRs has the highest sensitivity when working under the third condition. Therefore, to optimize the RI sensing performance of the CMKRs, only the ambient RI of MKR2 is varied. When we slightly change the ambient RI of MKR2 ( na ), the resonant wavelength of MKR2 ( λ2 ) will shift as:

Δλ2 = λ2 ( Δna neff 2 ) ⋅ ( Δneff 2 Δna )

(7)

where Δneff 2 , Δna represent the variations of effective RI and ambient RI of MKR2, respectively. Then, the corresponding wavelength shift of certain Vernier peak of the CMKRs can be derived as: Δλ = Δλ2  FSR1 ( FSR1 − FSR2 ) 

#229117 - $15.00 USD © 2015 OSA

(8)

Received 15 Dec 2014; revised 21 Feb 2015; accepted 24 Feb 2015; published 3 Mar 2015 9 Mar 2015 | Vol. 23, No. 5 | DOI:10.1364/OE.23.006662 | OPTICS EXPRESS 6667

Therefore, the RI sensitivity can be deduced as: S = Δλ Δna

= ( λ2 neff 2 )( Δneff 2 Δna )  FSR1 ( FSR1 − FSR2 ) 

(9)

= ( λ2 neff 2 )( Δneff 2 Δna ) ( m + 1)

It is clear that compared with single MKR2, the sensitivity of the CMKRs is enhanced by FSR1 ( FSR1 − FSR2 ) . Taking Eq. (6) into consideration, the RI sensitivity is related to the values of m, neff 2 and Δneff 2 Δna that is inversely proportional to the microfiber diameter [20]. For a detailed view into the RI sensing response of the CMKRs, we simulate the Vernier spectra with different ambient RIs of MKR2 by employing the typical parameters listed in Table 1 as an example. Figure 4 illustrates the transmission spectra of the CMKRs evolving as the ambient RI of MKR2. It is obvious that the Vernier peak experiences a red shift as the ambient RI increasing, with the sensitivity calculated to be 6591nm/RIU. Table 1. Simulation parameters of Fig. 3 Coupling parameters

Structure parameters

(k1, r1)

(k2, r2)

(k3, r3)

(k4, r4)

R1 (mm)

R2 (mm)

Microfiber diameters(μm)

original RI

(0.4, 0.1)

(0.6, 0.1)

(0.6, 0.1)

(0.4, 0.1)

1.178

1.230

1.9

1.3315

Fig. 4. Transmission spectra of the CMKRs evolving as the RI of MKR2.

The measuring resolution could also be inferred from Vernier effect. Since FSR1 is fixed, the minimum change of resonant wavelength in CMKRs is Δλmin = FSR1 Then, the minimum limit of ambient RI variations could be denoted as:

Δnmin = neff 2 ( FSR1 − FSR2 ) ( λ2 ⋅ Δneff 2 Δna )

(10)

By substituting the parameters listed in Table 1 into Eq. (10), the theoretical minimum detectable RI is calculated as 3.59 × 10−5 RIU. Moreover, the fringe alignment between spectra of MKR1 and MKR2 is discrete, resulting in discrete RI measurement, which is a serious limitation of practical application. Besides, because the fringes bandwidths in spectra of MKR1 and MKR2 are nonzero, when the m-th resonant peak of MKR1 does not totally overlap with (m + 1)-th resonant peak of MKR2, the Vernier spectrum could also be generated. However, in this condition, the distinction between the highest peaks and the sidelobe peaks is blurry. Hence, it may result in

#229117 - $15.00 USD © 2015 OSA

Received 15 Dec 2014; revised 21 Feb 2015; accepted 24 Feb 2015; published 3 Mar 2015 9 Mar 2015 | Vol. 23, No. 5 | DOI:10.1364/OE.23.006662 | OPTICS EXPRESS 6668

the inaccuracy of locating the peak wavelength of the Vernier envelope, bringing noise to the RI sensing of CMKRs. In order to conquer the above limitations, we apply the Lorentz fitting algorithm to the measured Vernier spectra according to Eq. (1) [28]. Consequently, the RI detection becomes continuous, and the minimum detectable RI is only determined by the resolution of the adopted spectrum analyzer. 3. Fabrication and experiment

We propose the technique named “Drawing-Knotting-Assembling (DKA)” to fabricate the CMKRs. The whole fabrication process is displayed in Fig. 5. Firstly, three microfibers are fabricated by using flame-heated taper-drawing technique, and then two of them are cut off and made into two MKRs using the method reported in [24], as presented in Figs. 5(a)–5(c). After anchoring the two MKRs on two ridges of a glass substrate, the third microfiber is also cut off, fixed and knotted with the cavities of the two MKRs in series, as illustrated in Figs. 5(d) and 5(e). After micro-adjusting the sizes of two MKRs and coupling regions, the whole structure is finished. The tensile force from anchoring points and the intertwisted force of coupling regions support the fabricated CMKRs. It should be pointed out that since the microfibers, the resonant cavities and the coupling regions can be controlled and repeated by manipulating step-by-step with the same processing parameters on stable fabrication platform, the reproducibility of the CMKRs fabrication can be easily achieved.

Fig. 5. The fabrication process of the CMKRs.

In the traditional way, MKR is constructed by tying just one time in the coupling region [24, 25]. Here, we modify the MKRs by tying two or more times in the coupling regions, which offers two merits as follows: (1) increased tying times make the coupling region longer, leading the whole structure to be mechanically more robust and optically more stable; (2) controllable tying times make the coupling length variable, bring controllable and repeatable coupling coefficients of the coupling regions. For experimental demonstration, three identical microfibers with the lengths of 75mm and waist diameters of 1.9μm are drawn to construct the CMKRs. The propagation losses of three microfibers are measured as low as 1dB immediately after they are fabricated. Besides, due to the thin diameter and the extremely good flexibility of microfiber, their bending losses can be too low to consider. In the fabricated CMKRs, each coupling region contains two knotting turns, and cavity radii of MKR1 and MKR2 are 1.178mm and 1.230mm, respectively. Figures 6(a)–6(c) illustrate the microscope images of the waist region of the drawn microfiber, the coupling region with two knotting turns and the MKR with two coupling regions, respectively. The experimental setup displayed in Fig. 6(d) is built to investigate the RI sensing performance of the fabricated CMKRs. The interrogator (Micron Optics sm250) combining with a circulator is employed to measure the transmission spectrum of CMKRs and record it

#229117 - $15.00 USD © 2015 OSA

Received 15 Dec 2014; revised 21 Feb 2015; accepted 24 Feb 2015; published 3 Mar 2015 9 Mar 2015 | Vol. 23, No. 5 | DOI:10.1364/OE.23.006662 | OPTICS EXPRESS 6669

to the computer. Since MKR1 and MKR2 inherently contain the SMF-ends, the coupling between the external fiber and the CMKRs can be directly achieved through the connection of the SMF-ends of MKR1 and MKR2 to the external fiber. Then, water with RI of 1.3315 is dropped onto the substrate to immerse and float the CMKRs. Subsequently, the ambient RI of MKR2 is increased by locally injecting the pure glycerin with large viscidity and high density into the region of MKR2, while keep the ambient RI of MKR1 unchanged. Simultaneously, the ambient RI of MKR2 is measured by Abbe refractometer for calibration.

Fig. 6. The microscope images of (a) the waist region of an as-drawn microfiber, (b) coupling region with two knotting turns, and (c) a MKR with two coupling regions; (d)The experimental setup for RI sensing of the fabricated CMKRs (Insert: photo graph of a fabricated CMKRs transmitting visible light).

4. Experimental results and discussions

In the experiment, the ambient RI of MKR2 is increased from 1.3315 to 1.3349 by injecting pure glycerin with the amount of 1ml per time, while the ambient RI of MKR1 is kept at 1.3315, and then the transmission spectra of the CMKRs is traced and recorded. A typical transmission spectrum of the CMKRs with ambient RI of MKR2 equaling to 1.3320 is depicted by purple line in Fig. 7. The periodical envelop indicates the generation of Vernier effect. FSR of the envelope is measured as 5.05nm which is 22 times of FSR of the resonant sub-peaks. By applying the measured structure parameters to calculation, the coupling parameters and the theoretical spectrum can be obtained, as presented in Table 1 and Fig. 7, respectively. The coupling loss in each coupling region of the CMKRs is calculated to be 0.1, which mainly comes from the slightly unmatched propagation coefficients of two sections of microfiber. In addition, as shown in Fig. 7, within the wavelength band from 1535nm to 1550nm, the experimental spectrum almost overlaps with the numerical simulation, indicating good consistency between them.

-35 -40 -45 -50 1539

1539.5

1540

Fig. 7. Vernier transmission spectrum of the fabricated CMKRs with ambient RI of MKR2 equaling to 1.3320, as well as the comparison with simulation result (Insert: The zoom view of the spectra within 1539nm-1540nm).

#229117 - $15.00 USD © 2015 OSA

Received 15 Dec 2014; revised 21 Feb 2015; accepted 24 Feb 2015; published 3 Mar 2015 9 Mar 2015 | Vol. 23, No. 5 | DOI:10.1364/OE.23.006662 | OPTICS EXPRESS 6670

However, the ER of experimental Vernier envelope is 5dB, relatively lower than the simulating ER of 6dB. This may be caused by two reasons: (1) the lower coupling efficiency, larger coupling loss and thus lower Q-factor of the CMKRs in experiment; (2) the Vernier effect may be generated under the condition that the m-th resonant peak of MKR1 slightly misalign with (m + 1)-th resonant peak of MKR2, but the two resonant peaks are still partly overlapped. Then, Imax will decrease and Imin will increase, resulting in the smaller ER than the condition of strict Vernier effect. Practically, the experimental ER can be enhanced by improving the fabrication techniques and controlling the length of coupling regions according to the theoretical analysis. Then, the RI response of the fabricated CMKRs is investigated. The transmission spectra with different ambient RIs of MKR2 are shown in Fig. 8(a). The spectra are fitted by the Lorentze procedure for locating the Vernier peaks more accurately as discussed above. It is observed that the spectra experience red shift as the RI increasing. The exact dependence of the wavelength shift on the ambient RI is presented in Fig. 8(b) with black squares. Linear response with a high R-square of 0.9992 is obtained, and the sensitivity is calculated to be 6523nm/RIU, which agrees well with the simulation sensitivity of 6591nm/RIU.

Fig. 8. (a) Measured transmission spectra of the CMKRs with different ambient RIs of MKR2; (b) The dependence of wavelength shift on the ambient RI

It should be noted that although there are relative intensity noise (RIN) in the light source as well as thermal noise and shot noise in the photo-detector of the spectrum analyzer, these noises mainly bring about the fluctuation of light intensity. For the proposed RI sensor, the RI is measured by tracing wavelength shift of the transmission spectrum, which is an absolute parameter dependent on the relative optical intensity variation. Hence the RI detection is not affected by the noises from laser and photo-detector. In addition, the noises from ambient

#229117 - $15.00 USD © 2015 OSA

Received 15 Dec 2014; revised 21 Feb 2015; accepted 24 Feb 2015; published 3 Mar 2015 9 Mar 2015 | Vol. 23, No. 5 | DOI:10.1364/OE.23.006662 | OPTICS EXPRESS 6671

environment are well isolated by conducting experiment in a stable table with constant temperature and careful operation. Consequently, the experimental noises resulting from the interrogator and the ambient environment can be neglected, while only the resolution of the interrogator determines the minimum detectable RI of the CMKRs. Due that the resolution of the interrogator is 1pm and the experimental RI sensitivity is 6532nm/RIU, the resolution of this RI sensor can be deduced to 1.533 × 10−7RIU. For practical application, the CMKRs can be embedded into a solid matrix with low RI such as PDMS and Teflon [23, 36], to increase the robustness and long-term stability as well as ensure MKR1 completely immunizing to the ambient RI change. Furthermore, since the Vernier peak can be located more accurately with higher ER of Vernier envelope, we can also improve the detection resolution by optimizing the fabrication techniques and controlling the length of coupling regions. Besides, adopting thinner microfiber and small-sized CMKRs could also enhance the sensitivity and the resolution. 5. Conclusion

In this paper, a highly sensitive RI sensor based on CMKRs with Vernier effect is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. Theoretical analysis investigates the principle of Vernier effect and its magnificent function on the transmission spectrum of the CMKRs. By using the method named “Drawing-Knotting-Assembling (DKA)”, a robust sensing device is fabricated for experimental demonstration. In order to accurately trace the wavelength shift of the Venier resonant peaks, Lorentz fitting algorithm is applied to the transmission spectra. Within RI range from 1.3320 to 1.3350, a linear response of wavelength shift to the ambient RI with high sensitivity of 6523nm/RIU and resolution up to 1.533 × 10−7 is obtained in the experiment, which shows good agreement with numerical simulation. The proposed all-fiber RI sensor with compact size and low cost can be widely used for chemical and biological detection, as well as the electronic/magnetic field measurement. Acknowledgments

This work is supported by the sub-Project of the Major Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 61290315), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 61275004), and the European Commission's Marie Curie International Incoming fellowship (Grant No. 328263), the Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province for Distinguished Young Scholars (No. 2014CFA036).

#229117 - $15.00 USD © 2015 OSA

Received 15 Dec 2014; revised 21 Feb 2015; accepted 24 Feb 2015; published 3 Mar 2015 9 Mar 2015 | Vol. 23, No. 5 | DOI:10.1364/OE.23.006662 | OPTICS EXPRESS 6672

Suggest Documents