We proposed an extremely simple fiber-optic tip sensor system to identify liquids by combining their corresponding droplet evaporation events with analyses using machine learning techniques. Pendant liquid droplets were suspended from the cleaved endface of a single-mode fiber during the experiment. The optical fiber-droplet interface and the droplet-air interface served as two partial reflectors of an extrinsic Fabry-Perot interferometer (EFPI) with a liquid droplet cavity. As the liquid pendant droplet evaporated, its length diminished. A light source can be used to observe the effective change in the net reflectivity of the optical fiber sensor system by observing the resulting optical interference phenomenon of the reflected waves. Using a single-wavelength probing light source, the entire evaporation event of the liquid droplet was precisely captured. The measured time transient response from the fiber-optic tip sensor to an evaporation event of a liquid droplet of interest was then transformed into image data using a continuous wavelet transform. The obtained image data was used to fine-tune pre-trained convolution neural networks (CNNs) for the given task. The results demonstrated that machine learning-based classification methods achieved greater than 98% accuracy in classifying different liquids based on their corresponding droplet evaporation processes, measured by the fiber-optic tip sensor.


Electrical and Computer Engineering


This research was supported by the Lightwave Technology Lab at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO.

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Publication Date

22 Nov 2021