Design, fabrication and characterisation of sensors based on multicore optical fiber
Javier Madrigal Madrigal
Optical fiber has been a great revolution in the world of telecommunications due to its high transmission capacity and low attenuation. Today it would not be possible to transport the amount of traffic that is generated on the Internet without communication systems based on optical fibers. However, the number of devices connected to the Internet is increasing, so the capacity of standard single-core fiber optics may be limited so far in the future. One way to increase this capacity is to use multi-core optical fibers. Nowadays is a great interest in research in this type of fibers for telecommunications applications, so it is not difficult to find commercial multicore fibers.
Although the most common use of fiber optics is for telecommunications, it can also be used as a sensor. One of the most common methods for sensor implementation is the inscription of diffraction gratings on single-core optical fibers. However, the enrollment of steering networks in multi-core fibers opens new lines of research for the development of advanced sensors.
In this thesis, different types of diffraction gratings inscribed in a seven-core fiber have been studied for their application in the implementation of sensors. In the first place, the diffraction grating manufacturing system is described that allows to inscribe different types of diffraction gratings in the multicore fiber selectively, that is, it allows to select in which cores the grating is going to be inscribed. By means of this system, long-period networks have been inscribed and subsequently they have been characterized as a deformation, torsion, and curvature sensor. Then, slanted Bragg gratings have been inscribed to intentionally increase the crosstalk between the fiber cores by coupling light between them. Furthermore, this crosstalk has been experimentally shown to be sensitive to fiber deformation, curvature, temperature, and the index of refraction surrounding the fiber. On the other hand, it has been shown that Bragg networks inscribed in multicore fibers can be used to implement curvature sensors capable of operating in radioactive environments. Finally, regenerated Bragg nets capable of operating at high temperatures have been manufactured. These nets have been characterized as a temperature, deformation, and curvature sensor.