We present optimization results on the design of a polymer optical fiber single point sensor suitable for photoluminescence-based sensing. The single point sensing design consists of one or two annular cavities, separated by a small distance, milled into the fiber and subsequently filled with a thick solution of polymer, solvent, and photoluminescent molecules, which is then allowed to dry. The design is tested by varying the depth and length of a single cavity and utilizing two cavities with varying separations. Results from experiments show a maximum response at a separation of 2 mm for which we present an analytical explanation. A geometrical, numerical simulation model, taking into account both skew and meridional rays, is developed and shows very good agreement with the experimental results. The fiber design presents a general platform that has the potential for the fabrication of multi-point photoluminescent sensors, for which it is necessary to have several points along the fiber functionalized for sensing. Furthermore, the approach with polymer fibers and polymer sensing gels allows for a robust integration of the sensing matrix and the optical fiber, more so than is possible using glass optical fibers.
- Polymer optical fibers
- Sensor design