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Refractive index sensing based on Mach–Zehnder interferometer formed by three cascaded single-mode fiber tapers

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Abstract

We report a highly sensitive refractive index (RI) sensor based on three cascaded single-mode fiber tapers, in which a weak taper is sandwiched between the two tapers to improve the sensitivity of the sensor. Experimental results show that the sensitivity of the device is 0.286nm for a 0.01 RI change, which is about four times higher than that of the normal two-cascaded-taper-based Mach–Zehnder interferometer. In addition, the sensitivity of the device could be enhanced by tapering a longer and thinner middle weak taper. Such kinds of low-cost and highly sensitive fiber-optic RI sensors would find applications in chemical or biochemical sensing fields.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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