In this work, it is presented for the first time the fabrication and characterization of a novel optical fiber humidity sensor based on both Lossy-mode resonance (LMR) and Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR). Those resonances were created using Layer-by-Layer (LbL) polymeric coating loaded with Ag nanoparticles (Ag NPs) and fabricated onto an optical fiber core. Firstly, it was observed a LSPR attenuation band, inherent to the presence of the Ag NPs in the coating. This LSPR band showed a slight intensity variation with Relative Humidity (RH) changes but no significant wavelength dependence was observed. Otherwise several LMR attenuation bands were observed in the 400–1100 nm spectral range as the thickness coating was increased. The LMR maxima depend strongly on the thickness and refractive index of the LbL overlay, and therefore, they show a strong wavelength response to Relative Humidity (RH) changes. A wavelength-based optical humidity sensor was achieved and the dynamic range (42.4 nm), transfer function, response time (476 ms and 447 ms for rise/fall respectively) were characterized. The results confirm that this sensor could be used even for monitoring human breathing.
The combination of a cationic monolayer with an anionic monolayer is called bilayer. The LbL process was carried out using a 3-axis robot from Nadetech Innovations and more details of the LbL assembly can be found elsewhere , . The resultant coating onto the optical fiber core will be the sensitive region.
Keywords: Nanocoating; Silver nanoparticles; Resonance; Humidity sensor