Singlemode-Multimode-Singlemode Fiber Structures for Sensing Applications – A Review

Qiang Wu*, Yuwei Qu, Juan Liu, Jinhui Yuan*, Sheng-Peng Wan, Tao Wu, Xing-Dao He, Bin Liu*, Dejun Liu, Youqiao Ma, Yuliya Semenova, Pengfei Wang, Xiangjun Xin, Gerald Farrell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)
158 Downloads (Pure)


A singlemode-multimode-singlemode (SMS) fiber structure consists of a short section of multimode fiber fusion-spliced between two SMS fibers. The mechanism underpinning the operation of an SMS fiber structure is multimode interference and associated self-imaging. SMS structures can be used in a variety of optical fiber systems but are most commonly used as sensors for a variety of parameters, ranging from macro-world measurands such as temperature, strain, vibration, flow rate, RI and humidity to the micro-world with measurands such as proteins, pathogens, DNA, and specific molecules. While traditional SMS structures employ a short section of standard multimode fiber, a large number of structures have been investigated and demonstrated over the last decade involving the replacement of the multimode fiber section with alternatives such as a hollow core fiber or a tapered fiber. The objective of replacing the multimode fiber has most often been to allow sensing of different measurands or to improve sensitivity. In this paper, several different categories of SMS fiber structures, including traditional SMS, modified SMS and tapered SMS fiber structures are discussed with some theoretical underpinning and reviews of a wide variety of sensing examples and recent advances. The paper then summarizes and compares the performances of a variety of sensors which have been published under a number of headings. The paper concludes by considering the challenges faced by SMS based sensing schemes in terms of their deployment in real world applications and discusses possible future developments of SMS fiber sensors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9268078
Pages (from-to)12734-12751
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number11
Early online date24 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Singlemode-Multimode-Singlemode Fiber Structures for Sensing Applications – A Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this