A new type of fiber optic sensor for the detection and quantification of ammonia (NH3) vapor levels is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. This sensor is based on a spherical silica micro resonator coated with porous silica gel. Whispering gallery modes (WGMs) in the micro resonator are excited by evanescent coupling to a tapered fiber with a 3.3 μm waist diameter. The optical properties of the porous silica layer change when it is exposed to ammonia vapor, leading to a spectral shift of the WGM resonant wavelengths. The sensitivity of the proposed sensor has been tested by exposing it to different low level concentrations of ammonia: 4 ppm, 8 ppm, 12 ppm and 30 ppm at a constant relative humidity (50% RH) and constant temperature (23°C). The detection limit is calculated from experimental results as 57 ppb of ammonia for a 282 μm diameter porous silica coated microsphere.
|Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
|Published - 30 May 2016