A novel demodulation method for tilted fiber Bragg grating (TFBG) refractometry is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. This 'integrated differential area' method consists of calculating the difference between measured spectral transmission over a selected bandwidth and a reference spectrum and then integrating the absolute value of the result. This has the effect of multiplying the effect of the individual cladding mode resonance shifts relative to the background noise. The method further allows the use of spectrum analyzers with low resolution, including portable ones with spectral resolution of the order of 150-200 pm without loss of sensitivity. In practical measurements, a reflection configuration is demonstrated using a TFBG cascaded by a chirped-fiber Bragg grating with bandwidth of 19 nm. A refractive index sensitivity of 7.19% transmission change per refractive index unit is achieved for refractive indices ranging from 1.32 to 1.38, along with a limit of detection of 0.00026 refractive index units.

Fiber Bragg gratings, Fiber optics and optical communications, Fiber optics sensors
Journal of Lightwave Technology
Department of Electronics

Gang, T. (Tingting), Liu, F. (Fu), Hu, M. (Manli), & Albert, J. (2019). Integrated Differential Area Method for Variable Sensitivity Interrogation of Tilted Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors. Journal of Lightwave Technology, 37(18), 4531–4536. doi:10.1109/JLT.2019.2909162