A New Route to High Sensitivity Pressure Sensors

Jonas Osório, Cristiano Cordeiro, Unicamp; Marcos Franco, Valdir Serrão, Instituto de Estudos Avançados, Brazil

The environments in which sensors are most integral are often the most harsh and unforgiving, such as vacuum chambers, the ocean floor, and petroleum reservoirs. Traditional sensing techniques are not ideal in these applications, whereas optical fiber sensors can provide a versatile pressure sensing solution, as they are sensitive and electromagnetically immune. Researchers at Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp) and the Instituto de Estudos Avançados (IEAv) in Brazil are developing optical fibers with a microstructure that exhibits high sensing capabilities. Using numerical simulation, the team maximized the fibers’ birefringence dependence on pressure variations and thus the sensitivity of the sensor.

Simulation results of the changes in modal birefringence as a function of the position of the germanium core within the capillary wall.