Flying particle sensors

01.01.2016, 00:00

Newsletter 9

Optical fibre sensors make use of diverse physical effects to measure parameters such as strain, temperature and electric field. We have recently introduced a new class of reconfigurable fibre sensor, based on a ‘flying-particle’ optically trapped inside a hollow-core photonic crystal fibre, and illustrated its use in electric field and temperature sensing with high spatial resolution. The electric field distribution near the surface of a multi-element electrode was measured with a resolution of ~100 μm by monitoring changes in the transmitted light signal due to the transverse displacement of a charged silica microparticle trapped within the hollow core (see Figure). In another experiment, Doppler-based velocity measurements are used to map the gas viscosity, and thus the temperature, along a hollow-core photonic crystal fibre. The flying-particle approach represents a new paradigm in fibre sensors, potentially allowing multiple physical quantities to be mapped with high positional accuracy over kilometre-scale distances.

Contact: philip.russell(at)mpl.mpg(dot)dephilip.russell(at)mpl.mpg(dot)de
Group: Russell Division
Reference:  D. S. Bykov et al., Nature Photonics 9, 461–465 (2015).