Ocean Salinity Sensing Using Long-Period Fiber Gratings Functionalized with Layer-by-Layer Hydrogels. Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

published proceedings

  • ACS Omega

author list (cited authors)

  • Yang, F., Hlushko, R., Wu, D. i., Sukhishvili, S. A., Du, H., & Tian, F

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Yang, Fan||Hlushko, Raman||Wu, Di||Sukhishvili, Svetlana A||Du, Henry||Tian, Fei

publication date

  • January 2019