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Engineering nanoparticle features to tune Rayleigh scattering in nanoparticles-doped optical fibers

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Springer Nature
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Rayleigh scattering enhanced nanoparticles-doped optical fibers are highly promising for distributed sensing applications, however, the high optical losses induced by that scattering enhancement restrict considerably their sensing distance to few meters. Fabrication of long-range distributed optical fiber sensors based on this technology remains a major challenge in optical fiber community. In this work, it is reported the fabrication of low-loss Ca-based nanoparticles doped silica fibers with tunable Rayleigh scattering for long-range distributed sensing. This is enabled by tailoring nanoparticle features such as particle distribution size, morphology and density in the core of optical fibers through preform and fiber fabrication process. Consequently, fibers with tunable enhanced backscattering in the range 25.9-44.9 dB, with respect to a SMF-28 fiber, are attained along with the lowest two-way optical losses, 0.1-8.7 dB/m, reported so far for Rayleigh scattering enhanced nanoparticles-doped optical fibers. Therefore, the suitability of Ca-based nanoparticles-doped optical fibers for distributed sensing over longer distances, from 5 m to more than 200 m, becomes possible. This study opens a new path for future works in the field of distributed sensing, since these findings may be applied to other nanoparticles-doped optical fibers, allowing the tailoring of nanoparticle properties, which broadens future potential applications of this technology.
Scientific reports, Vol. 11 (9116) 2021
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Distributed optical fiber sensor , Nanoparticles-doped optical fiber , Enhanced backscattering optical fiber , Optical backscatter reflectometry , Rayleigh scattering
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article de recherche