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.
- fibre Bragg grating
- photosensitive dopant
- polymer optical fibre
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics