An L-band ultrasonic probe using polymer optical fibre

Christian Broadway, Getinet Woyessa, Ole Bang, Patrice Mégret, Christophe Caucheteur

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In recent years, Polymer optical fibre (POF) has been receiving increasing attention for sensing applications. For applications such as endoscopic ultrasound and photo-acoustics, PMMA polymer fibres deliver ever improving performance and more types of polymer are being trialled for these applications. The fundamental properties of POF, when correctly leveraged, deliver at least an order of magnitude in improvements over silica fibres. POF delivers lower acoustic impedance, a reduced Young's Modulus and a higher acoustic sensitivity within the megahertz region. In contrast, existing piezo-electric transducers have an inherent narrow acoustic bandwidth and a proportionality to size that causes difficulties for applications such as endoscopy within the biomedical domain. With the increasing take-up of POF, improvements have been made in fibre dopant distribution, the range of polymers available and connectorisation techniques. While newer polymer fibres are under preliminary study, PMMA has shown itself to be the most sensitive fibre to date despite historically higher levels of dopant inconsistency and an implementation around 830 nm that has a lower signal-to-noise ratio than possible. The prior approach of edge filtering a Bragg grating with a high speed photodiode has been shown to function and is therefore maintained. We present a step index PMMA Bragg grating ultrasonic probe in the L-band for the first time. Detection is achieved using a Bragg grating less than 1cm in length in a fibre under 10cm long. We examine the temporal and frequency response of the sensor over a 1-15 MHz range.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE
EditorsAlexander A. Oraevsky, Lihong V. Wang
Number of pages8
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date1 Jan 2019
Article number108780N
ISBN (Electronic)9781510623989
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
EventPhotons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2019 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 3 Feb 20196 Feb 2019


ConferencePhotons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2019
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
SponsorSENO Medical Instruments, Inc., SPIE
SeriesProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE


  • Biomedical applications
  • Fibre Bragg gratings
  • Fibre sensors
  • PMMA
  • Polymer optical fibre
  • Ultrasound detection

Cite this

Broadway, C., Woyessa, G., Bang, O., Mégret, P., & Caucheteur, C. (2019). An L-band ultrasonic probe using polymer optical fibre. In A. A. Oraevsky, & L. V. Wang (Eds.), Proceedings of SPIE (Vol. 10878). [108780N] SPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering. Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE, Vol.. 10878