We present a first demonstration of a novel multi-parameter fiber optic (FO) sensor concept based on gold nanoparticles (GNP) embedded in a stimuli-responsive hydrogel material. A hemispherical hydrogel immobilized on the optical fiber end-face forms a low-finesse Fabry-Perot (FP) interferometer. The GNPs exhibit local surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) that is sensitive towards the refractive index of the surrounding environment, while the stimuli-responsive hydrogel is sensitive towards specific chemical compounds. We evaluate the quality of the interferometric and LSPR signal as a function GNP concentration and of hydrogel swelling degree stimulated by ethanol solutions. The GNPs shows to have little influence on the visibility of the FP etalon, while LSPR of GNP shows to be sensitive towards the surface refractive index rather than bulk refractive index. This demonstration shows that the sensor concept has the potential to be used in applications such as an intravenous two-parametric real-time sensor for medical purpose.
We demonstrate a novel single point, multi-parameter, fiber optic sensor concept based on a combination of interferometric and plasmonic sensor modalities on an optical fiber end face. The sensor consists of a micro-Fabry-Perot interferometer in the form of a hemispherical stimuli-responsive hydrogel with immobilized gold nanoparticles. We present results of proof-of-concept experiments demonstrating local surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) sensing of refractive index (RI) in the visible range and interferometric measurements of volumetric changes of the pH stimuli-responsive hydrogel in near infrared range. The response of LSPR to RI (Δλr/ΔRI ∼ 877nm/RI) and the free spectral range (FSR) to pH (ΔpH/ΔFSR = 0.09624/nm) were measured with LSPR relatively constant for hydrogel swelling degree and FSR relatively constant for RI. We expect this novel sensor concept to be of great value for biosensors for medical applications.