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Sensors Journal, IEEE

Issue 4 • Date Aug. 2006

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 36
  • [Front cover]

    Page(s): c1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE Sensors Journal publication information

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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Table of contents

    Page(s): 849 - 850
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Ultraviolet Assisted 3-D Microstructures on PET

    Page(s): 851 - 853
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (311 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    UV-assisted deep vertical etching of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is shown to be suitable for realizing high resolution and high-aspect-ratio features, and is applied to fabrication of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and photonics devices. The technique has the potential to be used for structures below micrometer regime View full abstract»

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  • Sensitive Chemical Optic Sensor Using Birefringent Porous Glass for the Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds

    Page(s): 854 - 860
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    A simple design involving a birefringent porous glass oriented between two crossed polarizers serves as the foundation for an optically based sensitive broad-spectrum chemical sensor. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as acetonitrile vapors can be readily detected at concentrations of as low as 50 ppm. Changes are observed in polarized light transmitted by the anisotropic porous material constituting the sensor, upon exposure to VOC-bearing air, as intensity changes at a defined wavelength or as changes in spectral content (color) detectable by the eye. The optical effects resulting from exposure to various vapors are reversible and may result from adsorption of solvent vapors with attendant reduction of anisotropy. The microporous structure as well as the surface chemistry of the sensor may be controlled for tuning the response to VOCs for industrial applications. Miniaturization of the sensor using low-cost materials such as plastic or glass optical fibers, Polaroid films, and birefringent porous glass is demonstrated. The sensor described in this paper could use ambient light as source and the eye as detector (color change) or electronically controlled light emission and detection for better sensitivity and real time monitoring of VOCs. Such intrinsic explosion proof sensors could be used to safely monitor VOC levels in remote environments View full abstract»

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  • Low-Cost Surface-Mount LED Gas Sensor

    Page(s): 861 - 866
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    A low-cost chemical sensor comprising surface-mount light-emitting diodes (LEDs) has been developed for colorimetric gas detection. The device consists of a pair of LEDs connected to a simple PIC microcontroller circuit and in the most basic form, requires the use of only two input-output (I/O) pins on the chip. The key features of this sensor are the use of a LED rather than a photodiode for light detection and an all-digital light detection protocol that leads to a reduction in cost and power consumption by avoiding the need for an analog-to-digital converter. The surface-mount diodes employed are more compact than standard LEDs and are more amenable to coating by solid-state sensor films. Results from sensors employing a chemochromic ammonia sensitive film are presented, and the detection of this target is demonstrated in the parts-per-million range. The configuration is applicable to a wide range of colorimetric gas sensing materials View full abstract»

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  • Acoustic and Optical VOCs Sensors Incorporating Carbon Nanotubes

    Page(s): 867 - 875
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    The authors investigate the sensing properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) films, which are used as nanostructured materials for chemical sensors onto three types of transducers using different principles of operation as surface acoustic waves (SAWs), quartz-crystal microbalance (QCM), and a standard silica optical fiber (SOF) for detection of volatile organic compounds at a room temperature. The sensing probes have been configured as 315- and 433-MHz SAW two-port resonator-based oscillator, 10-MHz QCM resonator, and SOF light-reflectometry-based system at a wavelength of 1310 nm. A nanocomposite film of SWCNTs embedded in a cadmium-arachidate matrix was deposited by Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technique onto the SAW sensors. An LB multilayer of SWCNTs-onto-CdA buffer material was also deposited onto the QCM and SOF sensors. The experiments demonstrate that carbon-nanotubes acoustic and optical sensors are highly sensitive to a wide range of polar and nonpolar organic solvents up to a sub-ppm detection limit at a room temperature View full abstract»

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  • Electrostriction of a Polyurethane Elastomer-Based Polyester

    Page(s): 876 - 880
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    This paper is dealing with the electromechanical properties of a synthesized polyurethane elastomer film-based polyester. On the basis of the electrostatic-field induced strain, dielectric, and stress-strain measurements carried out under ambient conditions, the electromechanical parameters such as thickness strain, apparent electrostrictive coefficient, effective pressure, mechanical energy density, and Maxwell-effect contribution, were determined. Thickness strain versus the static electric field showed a quadratic dependence up to about 6.3 MV/m, which is consistent with an electrostrictive response. The maximum induced strain of 7% obtained at 16 MV/m is higher than those reported in the literature on unprestrained polyurethane film with noncompliant electrodes. Remarkable apparent electrostrictive coefficient (~7.75 10 -16 m2/V2) and response time (600 ms) were found. Under the actual experimental conditions (rigid electrodes and maximum electrostatic field of 16 MV/m), the effective compressive pressure (0.9 MPa) and mechanical energy density (0.032 J/cm3) values are quite noticeable. A small Maxwell-effect contribution of only 0.32% was found. The electromechanical parameters of this polyurethane elastomer indicate that this material is potentially useful for practical actuators and sensors View full abstract»

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  • Tuning of Surface Properties of AlGaN/GaN Sensors for Nanodroplets and Picodroplets

    Page(s): 881 - 886
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    Modifications of AlGaN surfaces have been carried out in order to tune their wetting properties. A hydrophilic surface is achieved by a wet and dry thermal oxidation, whereas the deposition of fluorocarbon (FC) layers leads to a passivation with a hydrophobic behavior. It was found that both surfaces still change their properties in the first days/hours after the modification. For the FC layers, differences are observed in dependence of the deposition method, which are explained by the different chemical-bond structures of the various FC films View full abstract»

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  • Cosputtered Metal and \hbox {SiO}_{2} Layers for Use in Thick-Film MISiC \hbox {NH}_{3} Sensors

    Page(s): 887 - 897
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    High-temperature metal-insulator-silicon-carbide (MISiC) sensors are currently under development for use as NH3 sensors in selective-catalytic-reduction (SCR) systems in diesel engines or non-SCR (NSCR) systems in boilers. The detection of NH3 by these sensors requires the presence of triple points where the gas, the metal, and the insulator meet. These triple points have traditionally been located at the interface between the insulator and a porous metal. However, to facilitate the long-term stability of the devices when used in a harsh environment, a nonporous gate material would be preferred. Here, the behavior of the samples where such triple points have been introduced in a dense film through cosputtering of the insulator (SiO 2), and either Pt or Ir is studied. The NH3 sensitivity of the materials was found to be in accordance with the earlier investigations on Si-based samples with cosputtered gate materials. Several metal-to-insulator ratios for each of the metals Pt and Ir were studied. The sensitivity of the layers as well as their selectivity to different concentrations of NH3 at temperatures ranging from 150 degC to 450 degC was investigated. The films containing 60%-70% Pt or Ir were found to give a high sensitivity toward NH3. These samples were shown to be sensitive also to propylene and H2 but were rather insensitive to NO and CO View full abstract»

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  • A Capacitance Ultrasonic Transducer With Micromachined Backplate for Fast Flow Measurements in Hot Pulsating Gases

    Page(s): 898 - 905
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    A novel high-temperature resistant capacitance ultrasonic transducer is presented. It is designed for an ultrasonic transit-time gas flowmeter and meets two main requirements not fulfilled by common piezoelectric transducers: First, a special construction based on an oxidized and patterned silicon backplate combined with a metallic membrane enables transducer operation at elevated gas temperatures of up to 600 degC. Second, the geometry and material parameters were chosen to obtain a broadband device that allows high signal slew rates and pulse repetition rates. As proven by measurements in an automotive combustion engine test bed environment, this new transducer suits for internal combustion engine exhaust flow measurements in between the catalytic converter and the end of the exhaust pipe. Preliminary results for the exhaust mass flow (up to 160 kg/h) of a typical automotive engine measured with these novel transducers are given and compared with the mass flow calculated from fuel consumption and air/fuel ratio (lambda) View full abstract»

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  • Adaptive Pulse Repetition Frequency Technique for an Ultrasonic Transit-Time Gas Flowmeter for Hot Pulsating Gases

    Page(s): 906 - 915
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    A technique of using an adaptive pulse repetition frequency (PRF) to operate an ultrasonic contrapropagation transit-time gas flowmeter (UFM) is introduced. This adaptive PRF technique allows transient measurements of hot (up to 450 degC) and pulsating (up to 1.5 kHz) gas flows. Such conditions occur in the exhaust gas of a combustion engine. Here, a UFM with the widely used fixed PRF technique is not applicable, because the large gas temperature variations would prevent a reliable detection of ultrasonic pulse arrival times. Coherently reflected waves are generated within the gas because of the unavoidable acoustic impedance mismatch between the gas and the transducers, and, depending on the gas temperatures, these echoes overlap with the main signal. The adaptive PRF technique overcomes this problem and allows correct pulse detection over the whole temperature range required. The UFM utilizes special high-temperature-resistant capacitance ultrasonic transducers (CUTs) to meet the requirements in terms of operating temperature range and dynamic response. Results, which are obtained with a preliminary laboratory prototype, are presented for the exhaust gas mass flow rate in a otimes 50-mm pipe measured at gas temperatures of up to 450 degC and at PRFs of up to 5.5 kHz, which is an increase in frequency response of one order of magnitude in comparison to existing measurement systems View full abstract»

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  • Nondestructive Dynamic Characterization of Nanocrystalline Diamond Membranes for Flexural Plate Wave Sensors

    Page(s): 916 - 923
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    Nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) is a promising material for the fabrication of highly sensitive flexural-plate-wave (FPW) sensors. The design of FPW sensors requires the determination of the mechanical properties of a vibrating thin-film membrane. In this paper, a method to investigate the mechanical resonance of NCD membranes is presented. Membranes with lateral dimensions in the millimeter range and 1.2-mum thick were excited in air by a loudspeaker, and the resonance mode shapes were recorded optically with a stroboscopic interferometer. The resonance frequencies helped in determining directly the mechanical parameter of interest for the design of diamond-based FPW devices and the residual stress in the NCD layer. This method allows the rapid investigation of prototype materials without requiring an integrated transduction system and can be applied to analyze structures with the actual dimensions of FPW sensors. The experimental results are used to assess the sensing properties of FPW devices with NCD membranes, which are enhanced with respect to classical materials such as silicon-based materials View full abstract»

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  • Induced Magnetic Anisotropy and Stress-Impedance Effect in Nanocrystalline \hbox {Fe}_{73.5}\hbox {Cu}_{1}\hbox {Nb}_{3}\hbox {Si}_{13.5}\hbox {B}_{9} Ribbons

    Page(s): 924 - 927
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    The influence of direction and strength of induced magnetic anisotropy on stress-impedance (SI) effect was experimentally and theoretically studied in this paper. Experimentally, it was found that the magnetic anisotropy of the stress Joule heated Fe73.5Cu 1Nb3Si13.5B9 nanocrystalline ribbons were determined by direction and strength of the induced anisotropy. Theoretical calculations of the direction and strength of the induced magnetic anisotropy suggest that transverse anisotropy and small anisotropic field result in an increase of the SI effect. To decrease the anisotropic field and increase the transverse anisotropy simultaneously, a complex annealing process was applied to Fe73.5 Cu1Nb3Si13.5B9 ribbons, and it was found that the SI effect was drastically improved. A maximum change of 286% in the SI ratio of the complex annealed nanocrystalline Fe73.5Cu1Nb3Si13.5 B9 ribbon was observed around 10 MHz frequencies View full abstract»

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  • Characterization of an Integrable Single-Crystalline 3-D Tactile Sensor

    Page(s): 928 - 934
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    Porous-Si-micromachining technique was used for the formation of single-crystalline force-sensor elements, capable of resolving the three vector components of the loading force. Similar structures presented so far are created from deposited polycrystalline Si resistors embedded in multilayered SiO2/Si3N4 membranes, using surface micromachining technique for a cavity formation. In this paper, the authors implanted four piezoresistors in an n-type-perforated membrane, having their reference pairs on the substrate in order to form four half bridges for the transduction of the mechanical stress. They successfully combined the HF-based porous-Si process with conventional doping and Al metallization, thereby offering the possibility of integration with readout and amplifying electronics. The 300times300 mum2 membrane size allows for the formation of large tactile arrays using single-crystalline-sensing elements of superior mechanical properties. They used the finite-element method for modeling the stress distribution in the sensor, and verified the results with real measurements. Finally, they covered the sensors with different elastic silicon-rubber layers, and measured the sensor's altered properties. They used continuum mechanics to describe the behavior of the rubber layer View full abstract»

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  • Ferrite-Piezoelectric Multilayers for Magnetic Field Sensors

    Page(s): 935 - 938
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    A magnetic field sensor based on magnetoelectric effects in a ferrite-piezoelectric layered sample is proposed. Such sensors are passive, provide direct conversion of magnetic fields into an electrical signal, and allow measurements of both ac and dc magnetic fields. A multilayer sample of nickel zinc ferrite-lead zirconate titanate has been used to characterize the sensor response to ac and dc fields, field orientations, frequency, and temperature. The sample shows a linear response for dc fields up to a maximum of 1750 Oe. The sensor output is temperature independent over 273-337 K, but is dependent on frequency of the ac excitation field. Operating at electromechanical resonance for the element enhances the sensor sensitivity by an order of magnitude. For ac magnetic field sensors, the output varies linearly with amplitude View full abstract»

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  • Bubble Detector in Polyurethane Applications Based on a Microwave System

    Page(s): 939 - 944
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    This paper discusses a device that detects bubbles in glue depositions on a windshield glass, which may cause water leakages inside the cockpit. This device is inexpensive, more reliable than other existing solutions, and implements a specific signal treatment and a bubble size calculation model. The device is based on microwave radiation system in the X-band and has been developed and implemented in real production in the final assembly area of the automotive industry View full abstract»

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  • ITO/Homoepitaxial ZnSe/ITO MSM Sensors With Thermal Annealing

    Page(s): 945 - 949
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (216 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Indium-tin-oxide/homoepitaxial ZnSe/indium-tin-oxide metal-semiconductor-metal ultraviolet/blue sensors were prepared on the ZnSe substrates. It was found that the Schottky-barrier height became larger and the interface state density became smaller after annealing. With an incident wavelength of 448 nm and an applied bias of 1 V, it was found that the responsivities for the sensors with and without thermal annealing were 0.15 and 0.12 A/W, which corresponds to the quantum efficiencies of 40% and 33.5%, respectively. Furthermore, it was found that the sensors with a smaller noise equivalent power and larger detectivity can be achieved by annealing View full abstract»

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  • An Electronic-Calibration Scheme for Logarithmic CMOS Pixels

    Page(s): 950 - 956
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (177 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Logarithmic cameras have the wide dynamic range required to image natural scenes and encode the important contrast information within the scene. However, the images from these cameras are severely degraded by a fixed pattern noise (FPN). Previous attempts to improve the quality of the images from these cameras by removing an additive FPN have led to disappointing results. Using an existing model for the response of logarithmic pixels, it is concluded that the residual FPN in these images is caused by gain variations between pixels. In order to reduce the effects of these variations, a readout circuit, which is based upon a differential amplifier, has been used. However, even with this readout circuit, high-quality images will only be obtained if each image is corrected to remove the effects of both gain and offset variations. Measurement results are presented that show that the quality of the output from the logarithmic pixels is significantly improved if an electronic-calibration procedure is used to correct for both types of variations. In fact, with this procedure, the contrast sensitivity of the logarithmic pixels becomes comparable to that of the human eye over five decades of illumination intensity View full abstract»

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  • AlGaN-Based Linear Array for UV Solar-Blind Imaging From 240 to 280 nm

    Page(s): 957 - 963
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    The realization of a linear array of 300 pixels, with a 26-mum pitch, based on AlxGa1-xN metal-semiconductor-metal photodetectors, is described. The composition of the active layer is chosen in order to optimize the solar-blind operation: A sharp cutoff at 280 nm is observed, with discrimination between far and medium ultraviolet (UV) of three orders of magnitude. The detector shows a peak responsivity of 12 mA/W and a dark current smaller than 1 fA at the typical polarization of 4 V. The maximum resolution is analyzed in terms of modulation transfer function (MTF): The best result is obtained for a front-side illumination, i.e., when an MTF of 0.45 is measured at the half Nyquist frequency (19.2 lp/mm). Some UV images, which are obtained in a pushbroom model, are reported. The visible rejection is proven by directly imaging the arc of a Xenon lamp: It is shown that only the relatively weak far-UV component contributes to the signal View full abstract»

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  • Flip-Chip p(GaN)-i(GaN)-n(AlGaN) Narrowband UV-A Photosensors

    Page(s): 964 - 969
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    Flip-chip p(GaN)-i(GaN)-n(AlGaN) photosensors with extremely low dark currents were fabricated and characterized. It was found that the sensor with a 0.5-mum-thick Si-doped n+-Al0.15Ga 0.85N layer could only detect optical signals with wavelength in between 325 and 360 nm. With an incident wavelength of 355 nm, the authors achieved a peak responsivity of 0.16 A/W at zero bias, which corresponds to an external quantum efficiency of 56% View full abstract»

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  • Characterization of Amorphous GMI Thin-Film Meander Trilayers

    Page(s): 970 - 973
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    This paper presents the magnetic properties of CoFeB trilayer thin films in relation to the high-frequency impedance responses. Fifty- and 100-nm-thin amorphous layers with a central 100- and 200-nm-thin Cu layer, respectively, were sputtered onto a thermally oxidized Si wafer. 300-mum-long meanders of 3-20-mum width were structured using a standard mask with various meanders, which were connected in series and were then formed by plasma etching. Magnetization curves, parallel to the easy axis, and hard axis of uniaxial anisotropy, were measured by the magnetooptical Kerr effect exhibiting anisotropy fields of around 2 kA/m and low coercivity in the hard-axis direction, depending on the film thickness. The magnetoimpedance (MI) effect was measured manually from 10 MHz to 1 GHz by means of a network analyzer using the reflected wave through the sample. The maximum effect occurred for both samples at 850 MHz View full abstract»

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  • Kernel Density Estimation-Based Data Correlation

    Page(s): 974 - 981
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    Calibration is the process of identifying and correcting the most likely error in sensor measurements. The basis for the authors' calibration procedure is to construct a statistical error model that captures the characteristics of the measurement errors. Such an error model can be constructed either offline or online and is derived using the nonparametric kernel-density-estimation techniques. Models constructed using various forms of the kernel smoothing functions are compared using statistical evaluation methods. Based on the selected error model, they propose four alternatives to make the transition from the error model to the calibration model, which is represented by piecewise polynomials. In addition, statistical validation and evaluation methods such as resubstitution, is used in order to establish the interval of confidence for both the error model and the calibration model. Traces of the acoustic signal-based distance measurements recorded by infield deployed sensors are used as their demonstrative example. Finally, they discuss the broad range of applications of the error models and provide an example on how adopting statistical error model as the optimization objective impacts the accuracy of the location discovery problem in wireless sensor networks View full abstract»

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  • Multichannel Temperature Sensing by Differential Coherence Multiplexing

    Page(s): 982 - 985
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    The method of differential coherence multiplexing is demonstrated for multichannel temperature sensing. The idea of the method is to introduce into the conventional coherence-multiplexed sensor array a chain of stable etalon interferometers connected to the interrogating interferometer in parallel to the sensor chains. Optical delays of sensor interferometers are obtained from the phase shift of the interference maximums of the etalon and sensor coherence peaks. The technique is inherently insensitive to low-frequency phase noise in the interrogating interferometer and does not require any means for measurement of the optical path difference of the interrogating interferometer. Multiplexed temperature sensing is demonstrated in a chain of four extrinsic Fabry-Perot temperature sensors in the range of 400 degC with a root-mean-square noise of 0.005 degC. Theoretical estimations show a possibility of increasing the dynamic range to the units of 105 View full abstract»

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  • A Parallel Multiplexed Temperature Sensor System Using Bragg-Grating-Based Fiber Lasers

    Page(s): 986 - 995
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    A parallel multiplexed temperature sensor scheme using a Bragg grating-based fiber laser approach has been developed and evaluated. Multiple laser cavities were formed as the active gain media of the system using a common broadband chirped fiber Bragg grating (CFBG) and several normal FBGs, which were used as optical feedback elements, in conjunction with different lengths of erbium-doped fibers (EDFs). These gain media were externally pumped by light from a 1480-nm laser diode (LD) through a 1480-nm 1 times 4 splitter. Normal FBGs were used as the wavelength-selective and sensing elements of the laser system. Simultaneous laser action at three different wavelengths corresponding to channels 1, 3, and 4, respectively, was obtained using this scheme. The temperature was measured over the range from room temperature (27 degC) to a maximum of 540 degC, which shows the potential of the scheme for quasi-distributed sensor applications View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

The IEEE Sensors Journal is a peer-reviewed, monthly online/print  journal devoted to sensors and sensing phenomena

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Krikor Ozanyan
University of Manchester
Manchester, M13 9PL, U.K.