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High-quality Mach–Zehnder interferometer based on a microcavity in single-multi-single mode fiber structure for refractive index sensing

Abstract

A fiber inline Mach–Zehnder interferometer (MZI) based on a microcavity with two symmetric openings in single-multi-single mode fiber (SMSF) structure is proposed. By using the finite difference beam propagation method (FD-BPM), the interference spectrum simulation result shows that the MZI can still have high-quality interference even if the microcavity deviates along the radial direction for 3 μm. Therefore, it allows a larger fabrication tolerance and tremendously decreases the fabrication difficulty. Then a microcavity with two symmetric openings in SMSF was fabricated by using femtosecond laser-induced water breakdown. The insertion loss of the microcavity immerged in water is only 8dB, and the MZ interference peak contrast in the transmission spectrum reaches more than 30 dB. The MZI based on the microcavity in SMSF can be used as a practical liquid refractive index sensor as its high-quality interference spectrum, ultrahigh sensitivity (9756.75 nm/RIU), high refractive index resolution (2×105RIU), good linearity (99.93%), and low-temperature crosstalk (0.04 nm/°C).

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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