This dissertation explores techniques for improving slab-coupled optical fiber sensor (SCOS) technology for use in specific applications and sensing configurations. SCOS are advantageous for their small size and all-dielectric composition which permit non-intrusive measurement of electric fields within compact environments; however, their small size also limits their sensitivity. This work performs a thorough analysis of the factors contributing to the performance of SCOS and demonstrates methods which improve SCOS, while maintaining its small dimensions and high level of directional sensitivity. These improvements include increasing the sensitivity by 9x, improving the frequency response to include sub 300 kHz frequencies, and developing a method to tune the resonances. The analysis shows that the best material for the slab waveguide is an electro-optic polymer because of its low RF permittivity combined with high electro-optic coefficient. Additional improvements are based on changing the crystal orientation to a transverse configuration, which enhances the sensitivity due to a combined increase in the effective electro-optic coefficient and electric field penetration into the slab. The transverse SCOS configuration not only improves the overall sensitivity but increases the directional sensitivity of the SCOS. Lithium niobate and electro-optic polymer are both experimentally shown to exhibit minimal frequency dependent sensitivity making them suitable for broad frequency applications. Simultaneous interrogation of multiple SCOS with a single tunable laser is achieved by tuning the resonant wavelengths of KTP SCOS so their resonances overlap.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





optics, fiber optics, D-fiber, electric field sensors, electro-optic materials