Hybrid photonic crystal fiber in chemical sensing
© The Author(s) 2016
Received: 20 January 2016
Accepted: 25 May 2016
Published: 16 June 2016
In this article, a hybrid photonic crystal fiber has been proposed for chemical sensing. A FEM has been applied for numerical investigation of some propagation characteristics of the PCF at a wider wavelength from 0.7 to 1.7 µm. The geometrical parameters altered to determine the optimized values. The proposed PCF contains three rings of circular holes in the cladding where the core is formulated with microstructure elliptical holes.
The simulation result reveals that our proposed PCF exhibits high sensitivity and low confinement loss for benzene, ethanol and water than the prior PCFs. We have also shown that our proposed PCF shows high birefringence for benzene 1.544 × 10−3, for ethanol 1.513 × 10−3 and for water 1.474 × 10−3 at λ = 1.33 µm.
The proposed PCF is simple with three rings which can be used for the sensing applications of industrially valuable lower indexed chemicals.
KeywordsBirefringence Elliptical hole Sensitivity Confinement loss Lower indexed chemical sensor Hybrid photonic crystal fiber
Fiber optic technology is not bounded in just telecommunication purposes as it was first excogitated. Day by day new applications of optical fiber has been emerged. Photonic crystal fiber broadens the applications of optical fiber not only in communication but also in wide areas by diminishing the limitations of the conventional fibers. In photonic crystal fiber, a bunch of tiny microscopic air holes remains along the entire fiber (Russell 2003; Knight 2003). Index guiding PCF and photonic band gap PCF are the two kinds of PCFs. In photonic band gap PCF the light is guided by photonic band gap mechanism where the core is large air core (Fini 2004). Another type of PCF is index guiding PCF where the core is solid having a higher refractive index than the cladding part (Hoo et al. 2003; Monro et al. 2001). For some unique and exceptional features PCF has been used for nonlinear optics (Ebendorff-Heidepriem et al. 2004), optical coherence tomography (Humbert et al. 2006), high-power technology (Lecaplain et al. 2010), multi wavelength generation (Pinto et al. 2011), super continuum generation (Dudley et al. 2006) and spectroscopy (Holzwarth et al. 2000).
In recent years due to the advancement of technology the PCFs are used for sensing of toxic and harmful gases (Morshed et al. 2015a, b, c), chemicals (Ademgil 2014; Park et al. 2011) and biomedical (Jensen et al. 2005; Dinish et al. 2012) applications. The sensing mechanism takes place by detecting the analytes filled holes in the core region with the evanescent field through the interaction of lights. The interactive features of PCF enable to observe the guiding properties like birefringence (Habib et al. 2013), dispersion (Begum et al. 2009) and nonlinearity (Habib et al. 2014). The first designed PCF was hexagonal (Knight et al. 1996) shaped but due to the autonomous geometrical structures and the advancement of technology numerous PCFs have been designed. By applying different geometrical structure like octagonal (Ademgil 2014), decagonal (Razzak et al. 2007), elliptical (Hao et al. 2013), honey comb cladding (Hou et al. 2013), hybrid cladding (Morshed et al. 2015a) better guiding properties have been achieved.
In the article (Ademgil 2014), a new hexagonal and octagonal PCF has been used for benzene, ethanol and water sensing where the core was microstructure. An octagonal shape PCF (O-PCF) with five rings in cladding has been proposed which shows higher sensitivity and lower confinement loss (Ahmed and Morshed 2016). The O-PCF was a modified structure of the article (Ademgil 2014) where there were three rings in the cladding. Asaduzzaman et al. (2015a, b, c) proposed different PCF structures, where the holes in the core region were elliptical. Ademgil and Haxha (2015) proposed two new PCF structure with vertically and horizontally arranged elliptical air holes for both core and cladding and got high sensitivity, high birefringence and low confinement loss. The concept of filling the core/cladding of the PCFs with various analytes drew much attention of researchers during the last decades (Kuhlmey et al. 2009). By filling holes with analytes different chemicals and biological substances can be sensed. In recent years researchers has been working to improve the optical properties of PCF. Elliptical holes were used to get higher birefringence (Qiu and He 1999; Yue et al. 2007).
In this paper, a Hybrid PCF (H-PCF) has been proposed which shows high birefringence lower confinement loss and also shows high sensitivity for three analytes benzene, water and ethanol. A circular PCF is also proposed to make a comparative analysis with the proposed PCF. Our proposed hybrid PCF contains elliptical holes in the core region with three circular rings in the cladding. The geometrical parameters varied to optimize for both core and cladding. The proposed PCF shows better sensitivity and confinement loss than the previous PCFs (Ademgil 2014; Asaduzzaman et al. 2015a; Ademgil and Haxha 2015).
Geometrical structure of the proposed H-PCF
Recently, PCFs structures were proposed with hybrid cladding in shape formation and different diameters of holes in different rings which shows better optical properties (Yuan et al. 2011; Hasan et al. 2014; Razzak and Namihira 2008). In Ademgil (2014), comparison between two PCFs (hexagonal and octagonal shape) was shown for sensing applications. The confinement loss or leakage loss can strongly be affected by the diameters of the holes in the two outermost rings in cladding (Olyaee and Naraghi 2013). The confinement, loss is decreased with the increase of the diameter of the holes. For lower confinement, loss the diameters of the holes of outermost ring were set larger than the middle layer in our proposed H-PCF. The innermost ring is responsible for sensitivity (Asaduzzaman et al. 2015a, b, c). So we kept the air holes of the innermost ring larger to gain high sensitivity as well as other guiding properties.
Synopsis of numerical method
Values of the different Sellmeier coefficients
4.67914826 × 10−3 μm2
1.35120631 × 10−2 μm2
Numerical results and discussion
Comparison of sensitivity, confinement loss and birefringence among the optimum parameters and the change in global parameters for ethanol at λ = 1.33 µm
Change in global parameters (%)
Confinement loss (dB/m)
8.94 × 10−8
1.603 × 10−3
5.74 × 10−7
1.553 × 10−3
2.75 × 10−10
1.513 × 10−3
6.71 × 10−11
1.233 × 10−3
1.75 × 10−13
1.013 × 10−3
Comparison of simulated result and structure shape among proposed PCF and prior PCFs for ethanol at λ = 1.33 µm
Confinement loss (dB/m)
No. of rings
Prior PCF1 (Ademgil 2014)
5.74 × 10−6
Circular holes in octagonal configuration
Prior PCF2 (Ademgil and Haxha 2015)
2.4 × 10−4
Elliptical holes in hexagonal configuration
Prior PCF3 (Asaduzzaman et al. 2015a)
7.55 × 10−7
Circular holes in circular configuration
2.75 × 10−10
Circular holes in circular configuration
Selectively filling the PCF holes with analytes is very challenging work. However due to advancement of nanotechnology several techniques has can be used to fill the PCF core or cladding with different analytes. Huang et al. (2004) proved that it is possible to fill the cladding holes or core holes with different analytes which may be used to demonstrate the functionality of the PCF applications. The filling process takes place by pressurizing the UV-curable polymer inside the PCF. Recently, it has been proved that the PCF structures filled with liquids as well as analytes in core/cladding can be fabricated by the same technique (Luo et al. 2013; Gerosa et al. 2011). Experimental demonstration and theoretical simulation of a liquid filled core based PCF was proposed by Zhang et al. (2007) for sensing application.
Our proposed H-PCF is dual shape mixing PCF as core holes are elliptical and cladding holes are circular. Fabrication of PCF is an important issue of photonic crystal fiber. Our proposed PCF may not be easy to fabricate. Our proposed H-PCF contains the different holes size in different rings. Besides our proposed H-PCF is a dual shape mixing with different core and cladding type. The main concern is the fabrication of the core region with elliptical holes. In Chen and Shen (2007) a dual shape mixed PCF (where core holes were elliptical and outer cladding holes was circular) was proposed to achieve ultrahigh birefringence. Elliptical hole based core has been successfully manufactured in the recent years (Issa et al. 2004). Some of the techniques like Stack and Draw techniques, Drilling method can be used to fabricate the PCF structures but due to the limitations of those techniques the proposed PCF may face difficulties. Recently, a capillary stacking method was proposed which can be used to fabricate the proposed H-PCF (Argyros et al. 2001). Sol–gel casting technique would be fruitful to fabricate the proposed PCF as it is mainly used to fabricate the PCFs with different size of holes (Bise and Trevor 2005). Through these considerations and due to the advancement of nanotechnology and fabrication process we strongly believe that our proposed H-PCF can be fabricated without and major difficulties.
A circular PCF with three rings of air holes including the elliptical holes based microstructure core has been proposed in this article. We have shown that our proposed PCF can show higher sensitivity, higher birefringence and lower confinement loss simultaneously. The whole numerical investigation was done by full vectorial finite element method of varying the diameters and pitch values of the both core and cladding to optimize the structure. The proposed PCF shows 49.29 % sensitivity and 3.13 × 10−10 dB/m confinement loss for benzene, 49.17 % sensitivity and 2.75 × 10−10 dB/m confinement loss for ethanol and 48.85 % sensitivity and 2.75 × 10−9 dB/m confinement loss for water. The main focus of this work is to detect the lower indexed chemicals which are industrially valuable.
SA created the structure and formulated the main theme. He writes the introduction part, geometry part and conclusion of the paper. KA simulated the structure and find all the results. He contributed mainly on abstract and Result section. TB revised the whole writing part and modified the writings. TF also revised the writings. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
The authors are grateful to those who participated in this research work.
The authors declare that all the authors have no competing of interest.
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