Ocean Salinity Sensing Using Long-Period Fiber Gratings Functionalized with Layer-by-Layer Hydrogels.
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Rapid, accurate, and real-time measurements of ocean salinity are of great importance for a host of scientific, commercial, and defense applications. We demonstrate a highly sensitive, fast-responding fiber-optic salinity sensor that integrates long-period fiber gratings (LPFGs) with ionic strength-responsive hydrogel. The submicron-thick hydrogel was synthesized via layer-by-layer electrostatic assembly of partially quaternized poly(4-vinylpyridine) (qP4VP) and poly(acrylic acid), followed by chemical cross-linking. Spectroscopic ellipsometry measurement of a hydrogel made of 37% quaternized qP4VP showed robust and reversible swelling/deswelling in solutions with salt concentrations ranging from 0.4 to 0.8 M (22.8-44.7 g/kg) around pH 8.1. The swelling/deswelling process induced large changes in the refractive index of the hydrogel, leading to resultant shift in the resonance wavelength (RW) of LPFGs. The salinity-dependent optical response of the hydrogel-coated LPFGs is in good agreement with ellipsometry measurement. LPFGs coated with the hydrogel exhibited a sensitivity of 7 nm RW shift/M (125.5 pm/‰) with a measurement time less than 5 s. The shift in the resonance wavelength correlated linearly with salt concentration, making quantification of measured salinity straightforward.
author list (cited authors)
Yang, F., Hlushko, R., Wu, D. i., Sukhishvili, S. A., Du, H., & Tian, F
complete list of authors
Yang, Fan||Hlushko, Raman||Wu, Di||Sukhishvili, Svetlana A||Du, Henry||Tian, Fei