Ultra-fast polymer optical fibre Bragg grating inscription for medical devices

Julien Bonefacino, Hwa Yaw Tam, Tom S. Glen, Xin Cheng, Chi Fung Jeff Pun, Jian Wang, Po Heng Lee, Ming Leung Vincent Tse, Steven T. Boles

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


We report the extraordinary result of rapid fibre Bragg grating inscription in doped polymer optical fibres based on polymethyl methacrylate in only 7 ms, which is two orders of magnitude faster than the inscription times previously reported. This was achieved using a new dopant material, diphenyl disulphide, which was found to enable a fast, positive refractive index change using a low ultraviolet dose. These changes were investigated and found to arise from photodissociation of the diphenyl disulphide molecule and subsequent molecular reorganization. We demonstrate that gratings inscribed in these fibres can exhibit at least a 15 times higher sensitivity than silica glass fibre, despite their quick inscription times. As a demonstration of the sensitivity, we selected a highly stringent situation, namely, the monitoring of a human heartbeat and respiratory functions. These findings could permit the inscription of fibre Bragg gratings during the fibre drawing process for mass production, allowing cost-effective, single-use, in vivo sensors among other potential uses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17161
Number of pages1
JournalLight: Science and Applications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • bio-sensing
  • fibre Bragg grating
  • photosensitive dopant
  • polymer optical fibre

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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