Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Nicholas Djeu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dennis Killinger, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Matthias Batzill, Ph.D.


fiber optics, chemical sensor, evanescent field, tapered fiber, coiled fiber


The purpose of this research was to determine the effect of diameter fluctuations on the sensitivity of sapphire multimode optical fibers used as evanescent wave fluorescence sensors. It was predicted that fluctuations in the diameter of the fiber would act as a series of bi-tapers converting lower order modes to higher order modes increasing the evanescent wave penetration depth thereby increasing the excitation of a cladding of fluorescent fluid. Induced fluorescence from the fluid cladding would then couple back into the fiber more efficiently increasing the sensitivity of the sensor.

The effect of coiling the fiber on the sensitivity of the sensor was also explored. Coiling the fiber converts lower order modes into higher order modes and increases the sensing length while maintaining a small probe size. However, coiling experiments produced unexpected results and in the course of studying these results a layer of material was discovered coating the surface of the sapphire fibers.