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Sensors (Basel). 2017 Apr 19;17(4). pii: E893. doi: 10.3390/s17040893.

Recent Developments in Fiber Optics Humidity Sensors.

Author information

1
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona 31006, Spain. joaquin.ascorbe@unavarra.es.
2
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona 31006, Spain. jmcorres@unavarra.es.
3
Institute of Smart Cities, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona 31006, Spain. jmcorres@unavarra.es.
4
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona 31006, Spain. parregui@unavarra.es.
5
Institute of Smart Cities, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona 31006, Spain. parregui@unavarra.es.
6
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona 31006, Spain. natxo@unavarra.es.
7
Institute of Smart Cities, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona 31006, Spain. natxo@unavarra.es.

Abstract

A wide range of applications such as health, human comfort, agriculture, food processing and storage, and electronic manufacturing, among others, require fast and accurate measurement of humidity. Sensors based on optical fibers present several advantages over electronic sensors and great research efforts have been made in recent years in this field. The present paper reports the current trends of optical fiber humidity sensors. The evolution of optical structures developed towards humidity sensing, as well as the novel materials used for this purpose, will be analyzed. Well-known optical structures, such as long-period fiber gratings or fiber Bragg gratings, are still being studied towards an enhancement of their sensitivity. Sensors based on lossy mode resonances constitute a platform that combines high sensitivity with low complexity, both in terms of their fabrication process and the equipment required. Novel structures, such as resonators, are being studied in order to improve the resolution of humidity sensors. Moreover, recent research on polymer optical fibers suggests that the sensitivity of this kind of sensor has not yet reached its limit. Therefore, there is still room for improvement in terms of sensitivity and resolution.

KEYWORDS:

Fabry-Pérot interferometers; fiber Bragg gratings; long period fiber grating; lossy mode resonances; modal interferometer; optical fiber humidity sensors; photonic crystal fiber; resonators; tapered optical fiber

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