Integrated Microsphere Whispering Gallery Mode Probe for Highly Sensitive Refractive Index Measurement

Hanzheng Wang
Lei Yuan
Cheol-Woon Kim, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Jie Huang, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Xinwei Lan
Hai Xiao, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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We report an integrated whispering gallery mode microresonator-based sensor probe for refractive index sensing. The probe was made by sealing a borosilicate glass microsphere into a thin-wall glass capillary pigtailed with a multimode optical fiber. The intensities of the resonant peaks were found decreasing exponentially (linearly in a log scale) with the increasing refractive index of the medium surrounding the capillary. The sensing capability of the integrated probe was tested using sucrose solutions of different concentrations and the resolution was estimated to be about 2.5 x 10-5 in the index range of 1.3458 to 1.3847. The integrated sensor probe may prove useful in many chemical and biological sensing applications where highly sensitive refractive index monitoring is needed.