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Liquid-core optical ring-resonator sensors

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Abstract

We have demonstrated a novel sensor architecture based on a liquid-core optical ring-resonator (LCORR) in which a fused silica capillary is utilized to carry the aqueous sample and to act as the ring resonator. The wall thickness of the LCORR is controlled to a few micrometers to expose the whispering gallery mode to the aqueous core. Optical characterization with a water–ethanol mixture shows that the spectral sensitivity of the LCORR sensor is approximately 2.6nm per refractive index unit. A model based on Mie theory is established to explain the experimental results. The LCORR takes advantage of the high sensitivity, small footprint, and low sample consumption with the ring resonator, as well as the efficient fluidic sample delivery with the capillary, and will open an avenue to future multiplexed sensor array development.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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