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Opt Express. 2009 Nov 9;17(23):20675-83. doi: 10.1364/OE.17.020675.

A terahertz plastic wire based evanescent field sensor for high sensitivity liquid detection.

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Institute of Electro-Optical Science and Engineering and Advanced Optoelectronic Technology Center, National Cheng Kung University, 1 University Road, Tainan 70101, Taiwan, R.O.C.


A highly sensitive detection method based on the evanescent wave of a terahertz subwavelength plastic wire was demonstrated for liquid sensing. Terahertz power spreading outside the wire core makes the waveguide dispersion sensitive to the cladding index variation, resulting in a considerable deviation of waveguide dispersion. Two liquids with transparent appearances, water and alcohol, are easily distinguished based on the waveguide dispersion, which is consistent with theoretical predictions. A melamine alcohol solution with various concentrations is identified successfully, and the detection limit is up to 20ppm, i.e. equivalent to the index variation on the order of 0.01.

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