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Calibration of Etched Fiber Bragg Grating Sensor Arrays for Measurement of Molecular Surface Adsorption

TitleCalibration of Etched Fiber Bragg Grating Sensor Arrays for Measurement of Molecular Surface Adsorption
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMudachathi, R, Shivananju, BN, Prashanth, GR, Asokan, S, Varma, MM
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Date PublishedJuly
Keywordsadsorption, Bragg gratings, calibration, distributed sensing, distributed sensors, Etched fiber Bragg grating, etched fiber Bragg grating sensor arrays, etching, FBG sensor arrays, fiber array based biosensing, fibre optic sensors, high-fidelity calibration, molecular surface adsorption, Numerical models, post-fabrication bulk refractometry approach, refractive index measurement, Sensitivity, sensor arrays, wavelength shift

Etched Fiber Bragg Grating (EFBG) sensors are attractive from the point of the inherently high multiplexing ability of fiber based sensors. However, the strong dependence of the sensitivity of EFBG sensors on the fiber diameter requires robust methods for calibration when used for distributed sensing in a large array format. Using experimental data and numerical modelling, we show that knowledge of the wavelength shift during the etch process is necessary for high-fidelity calibration of EFBG arrays. However as this approach requires the monitoring of every element of the sensor array during etching, we also proposed and demonstrated a calibration scheme using data from bulk refractometry measurements conducted post-fabrication without needing any information about the etching process. Although this approach is not as precise as the first one, it may be more practical as there is no requirement to monitor each element of the sensor array. We were able to calibrate the response of the sensors to within 3% with the approach using information acquired during etching and to within 5% using the post-fabrication bulk refractometry approach in spite of the sensitivities of the array element differing by more than a factor of 4. These two approaches present a tradeoff between accuracy and practicality.