Fibre optic chemical sensing using Langmuir-Blodgett overlay waveguides
Fibre optic chemical sensing has been demonstrated using side-polished single mode optical bre, evanescently coupled to chemically sensitive Langmuir-Blodgett overlay waveguides. The sensors exhibit a channel dropping response centred on a wavelength dependent upon the thickness and refractive index of the overlay waveguide. It has been shown that chemically sensitive organic dyes prove to be suitable materials for forming the overlay waveguide whereas the Langmuir-Blodgett deposition technique provides the required overlay thickness control. A brief optic pH sensor has been demonstrated by depositing a merocyanine dye onto a side-polished optical fibre which exhibits a change in transmission of 9.7 ± 0.8 dB pH" at a working wavelength of 750 n and 4.2 ± 0.5 dB pH`1 at 780 nm, with a shift in the channel dropping centre wavelength of 18.8 ± 0.8 n pH`1. The response time of the sensor to a step change in pH has been measured to be ~ 20 s. The advantage of being able to chemically engineer the organic materials used to form the overlay waveguides has been demonstrated by manufacturing a second pH sensor designed to operate at longer wavelengths using a second, modified merocyanine dye. The overall wavelength response of this second sensor to pH has been shown to be non- linear but a sensitivity of 23.3 ± 0.3 n pH`l is observed over a linear region. Finally, i order to investigate the non-linear response, a computer model based on the Kramers- Kronig relations has been devised and shows good agreement with experimental values.