Use of polyethylene glycol coatings for optical fibre humidity sensing

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Acikgoz S., Bilen B., Demir M. M., Menceloglu Y. Z., Skarlatos Y., Aktas G., ...More

OPTICAL REVIEW, vol.15, no.2, pp.84-90, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10043-008-0012-1
  • Journal Name: OPTICAL REVIEW
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED)
  • Page Numbers: pp.84-90
  • Keywords: humidity, sensors, plastic fibre, optics, polyethylene glycol, WAVE-GUIDES, SENSOR, FILMS, SORPTION, AIR
  • Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University Affiliated: No


Humidity induced change in the refractive index and thickness of the polyethylene glycol (PEG) coatings are in situ investigated for a range from 10 to 95%, using an optical waveguide spectroscopic technique. It is experimentally demonstrated that, upon humidity change, the optical and swelling characteristics of the PEG coatings can be employed to build a plastic fibre optic humidity sensor. The sensing mechanism is based on the humidity induced change in the refractive index of the PEG film, which is directly coated onto a polished segment of a plastic optical fibre with dip-coating method. It is observed that PEG, which is a highly hydrophilic material, shows no monotonic linear response to humidity but gives different characteristics for various ranges of humidity levels both in index of refraction and in thickness. It undergoes a physical phase change from a semi-crystal line structure to a gel one at around 80% relative humidity. At this phase change point, a drastic decrease occurs in the index of refraction as well as a drastic increase in the swelling of the PEG film. In addition, PEG coatings are hydrogenated in a vacuum chamber. It is observed that the hydrogen has a preventing effect on the humidity induced phase change in PEG coatings. Finally, the possibility of using PEG coatings in construction of a real plastic fibre optic humidity sensor is discussed. (C) 2008 The Optical Society of Japan.