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27 April 2016 Optical temperature sensing on flexible polymer foils
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In contrast to established semiconductor waveguide-based or glass fiber-based integrated optical sensors, polymerbased optical systems offer tunable material properties, such as refractive index or viscosity, and thus provide additional degrees of freedom for sensor design and fabrication. Of particular interest in sensing applications are fully-integrated optical waveguide-based temperature sensors. These typically rely on Bragg gratings which induce a periodic refractive index variation in the waveguide so that a resonant wavelength of the structure is reflected.1,2 With broad-band excitation, a dip in the spectral output of the waveguide is thus generated at a precisely-defined wavelength. This resonant wavelength depends on the refractive index of the waveguide and the grating period, yet both of these quantities are temperature dependent by means of the thermo-optic effect (change in refractive index with temperature) and thermal expansion (change of the grating period with temperature). We show the design and fabrication of polymer waveguide-integrated temperature sensors based on Bragggratings, fabricated by replication technology on flexible PMMA foil substrates. The 175 μm thick foil serves as lower cladding for a polymeric waveguide fabricated from a custom-made UV-crosslinkable co-monomer composition. The fabrication of the grating structure includes a second replication step into a separate PMMA-foil. The dimensions of the Bragg-gratings are determined by simulations to set the bias point into the near infrared wavelength range, which allows Si-based detectors to be used. We present design considerations and performance data for the developed structures. The resulting sensor's signal is linear to temperature changes and shows a sensitivity of -306 nm/K, allowing high resolution temperature measurements.
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Stanislav Sherman, Yanfen Xiao, Meike Hofmann, Thomas Schmidt, Uwe Gleissner, and Hans Zappe "Optical temperature sensing on flexible polymer foils", Proc. SPIE 9888, Micro-Optics 2016, 98880I (27 April 2016);

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