Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Electrical Engineering

Committee Member

Hai Xiao, Committee Chair

Committee Member

John Ballato

Committee Member

Liang Dong

Committee Member

Lin Zhu

Abstract

Research and development in photonic micro/nano structures functioned as sensors and devices have experienced significant growth in recent years, fueled by their broad applications in the fields of physical, chemical and biological quantities. Compared with conventional sensors with bulky assemblies, recent process in femtosecond (fs) laser three-dimensional (3D) micro- and even nano-scale micromachining technique has been proven an effective and flexible way for one-step fabrication of assembly-free micro devices and structures in various transparent materials, such as fused silica and single crystal sapphire materials. When used for fabrication, fs laser has many unique characteristics, such as negligible cracks, minimal heat-affected-zone, low recast, high precision, and the capability of embedded 3D fabrication, compared with conventional long pulse lasers. The merits of this advanced manufacturing technique enable the unique opportunity to fabricate integrated sensors with improved robustness, enriched functionality, enhanced intelligence, and unprecedented performance. Recently, fiber optic sensors have been widely used for energy, defense, environmental, biomedical and industry sensing applications. In addition to the well-known advantages of miniaturized in size, high sensitivity, simple to fabricate, immunity to electromagnetic interference (EMI) and resistance to corrosion, all-optical fiber sensors are becoming more and more desirable when designed with characteristics of assembly free and operation in the reflection configuration. In particular, all-optical fiber sensor is a good candidate to address the monitoring needs within extreme environment conditions, such as high temperature, high pressure, toxic/corrosive/erosive atmosphere, and large strain/stress. In addition, assembly-free, advanced fiber optic sensors and devices are also needed in optofluidic systems for chemical/biomedical sensing applications and polarization manipulation in optical systems. Different fs laser micromachining techniques were investigated for different purposes, such as fs laser direct ablating, fs laser irradiation with chemical etching (FLICE) and laser induced stresses. A series of high performance assembly-free, all-optical fiber sensor probes operated in a reflection configuration were proposed and fabricated. Meanwhile, several significant sensing measurements (e.g., high temperature, high pressure, refractive index variation, and molecule identification) of the proposed sensors were demonstrated in this dissertation as well. In addition to the probe based fiber optic sensors, stress induced birefringence was also created in the commercial optical fibers using fs laser induced stresses technique, resulting in several advanced polarization dependent devices, including a fiber inline quarter waveplate and a fiber inline polarizer based on the long period fiber grating (LPFG) structure.

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